news | 10 May 2024

Defense Innovation Unit, Naval Surface Warfare Center Sign Memo To Accelerate Commercial Technology Solutions for Operational Implementation

DIU, Naval Surface Warfare Featured

May 10, 2024 Defense Innovation Unit (DIU) and Naval Surface Warfare Center, Port Hueneme Division (NSWC PHD) signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) to expand collaboration between the two organizations with the mutual goal of identifying, evaluating, and expediting DoD adoption of emerging commercial technology solutions. 

“This partnership enables us to build a network of highly-talented contracting professionals - ultimately enabling us to evolve defense innovation and acquisition through teamwork in alignment with our strategy to ensure the DoD can leverage the best of commercial technology,” said DIU Director of Acquisition, Cherissa Tamayori. 

The MoU enables access to DIU program management and acquisition functions, including access to DIU’s market and commercial research and analysis and Commercial Solutions Opening (CSO) process - which leverages the Other Transaction (OT) authority, for NSWC PHD’s projects. Insights gained from executing agreements under the MoU will be instrumental in establishing best practices and refining onboarding processes within both organizations.

The strategic partnership developed in part through one contracting officer's participation in the DIU-Defense Acquisition University, Immersive Commercial Acquisition Program, or ICAP fellowship. Mariluz Chan-Endres, a contracting officer and team lead at NSWC PHD participated in the first ICAP cohort, which expanded her contract execution experience to include the use of OTs through Service-aligned projects, alongside a DIU contracting officer and project team - as well as commercial solution providers during the 12-month hybrid fellowship.

“This partnership aligns with our command’s fleet support mission by leveraging high velocity learning, other transaction knowledge, innovation mindset and collaboration across the enterprise,” said Chan-Endres.

To learn more about the collaborative ICAP fellowship visit - or to apply, applications are being accepted until August 7, 2024.

Leveraging the broader use of agile acquisition methods provides NSWC PHD the speed and flexibility to adopt and incorporate business practices to attract, and solve problems via non-traditional commercial vendors.

“Ultimately, access to DIU’s expansive array of non-traditional contractors along with the organization’s codified processes will expedite NSWC PHD’s transition to OT execution,” said Chan-Endres.