news | 18 August 2023

Follow DIU at Fed Supernova 2023

Fed Supernova_LinkedIn

On August 23, Capital Factory will kick off the 2023 Fed Supernova conference, a two-day event highlighting efforts to strengthen the national security innovation base. Panels will be spread across five tracks: autonomy and robotics, cyber, energy and materials, space and health and human systems. Speakers will focus on how nontraditional and small businesses can tap into the robust DoD marketplace and bridge the "Valley of Death."

Follow DIU team members at the events below, and view the full schedule here.

Interested in attending? Register online.

Wednesday, August 23

9:40 a.m. - 10:15 a.m.

Defense Innovation Unit Fireside Chat with Director Doug Beck

Doug Beck, new director of DIU talks about his modernization priorities with DIU alumni, Zach Walker.

Watch the video stream here.

Location: VOLTRON, 1st Floor

13:05 - 13:50

Panel: Robotics in Ground Combat

A discussion on the challenges and opportunities presented by the advancement of ground robotics. Experts share their insights on ways to defend against military robotics, while exploring ways to mitigate risks, such as implementing fail-safes, establishing robust cybersecurity protocols, and developing clear ethical guidelines and legal frameworks for the use of military robotics.


  • Kevin O'Brien, Defense Innovation Unit (Moderator)

  • COL Ryan Howell, Chief of Staff, Next Generation Combat Vehicles - Cross Functional Team

  • Matt Willis, Director, Office of Army Prize Competitions and Army Applied SBIR Program ASA(ALT)

Location: VOLTRON, 1st Floor

14:00 - 14:45

Panel: Robotics and Contested Logistics

This panel will examine the growing priority of contested logistics and sustainment across multiple organizations in the Department of Defense, with a focus on how startups and small businesses can contribute to this field. The discussion will explore the latest developments in dual-use cases for contested logistics and how these can be leveraged to achieve greater efficiency and effectiveness in logistics operations in hostile environments.


  • David Michelson, Program Manager, Defense Innovation Unit (Moderator)

  • COL Jesse R. Marsalis, Program Executive Office-Special Operations Forces Support Activity (PEO-SOFSA) USSOCOM

  • Jon Rimanelli, Co-founder and CEO, Airspace Experience Technologies, Inc. (ASX)

  • GS-15 Rob Watts, Contested Logistics CFT Deputy Director, Army Futures Command

Location: VOLTRON, 1st Floor

16:00 - 16:45 

Panel: NextGen Energy

Senior S&T/R&D officials discuss the current Administration and Congressional priorities focused on NextGen Energy including advancements in Solar, Wind, Hydrogen, and Biofuels.  Deep dive into the priorities of each organization and learn where your organization should look to focus their efforts for the future.


  • Andrew Mawdsley, Energy Portfolio Program Manager, Defense Innovation Unit (Moderator)

  • Dr. John Beieler, Assistant Director of National Intelligence for Science and Technology, Office of the Director of National Intelligence

  • Elizabeth Marino, Deputy Director, Office of Economic Security and Emerging Technologies, Office of the Director of National Intelligence

  • Dr. Veronika Stelmakh, CEO and Co-founder, Mesodyne Inc. 

Location: ACL, Floor 16

Thursday, August 24

12:00 - 15:00

What: DIU, NSIN and NSIC Office Hours

Attend one-on-one meetings with the DIU, NSIN, and NSIC staff during Fed Supernova! This is an excellent opportunity to learn more about our organizations, explore ways to participate in the dual-use technology community, and find the best ways to collaborate with the Department of Defense.

Location: Black Panther, 8th Floor

15:00 - 15:45

Panel: Dark Side of the Moon: Cislunar Exploration

Explore the challenges of cislunar exploration and emerging opportunities for both governments and global commercial providers.  Panelists will discuss the necessity of fully mapping lunar geodetic reference frames, from surface to space.


  • Aria Alamalhodaei, Space Reporter, Tech Crunch (Moderator)

  • Trevor Garner, Senior GEOINT Officer for Space, Office of Geomatics, National Geospatial Intelligence Agency

  • Lauren Rogers, Senior Research Engineer, Defense Innovation Unit

16:00 - 16:45

Panel: Human Systems Integration

This panel explores the crucial role of human factors in military operations, focusing on the seamless integration of technology, procedures, and personnel to optimize mission effectiveness. Experts in human performance, ergonomics, cognitive psychology, and human-machine interfaces discuss strategies for enhancing soldier performance, decision-making, and well-being through the design of user-centered systems and training programs.


  • Nat Higgins, Human Systems Program Manager, Defense Innovation Unit (Moderator)

  • Major Allison Brager, GHOST Fellow, SOF AT&L, USSOCOM, SOF AT&L, Biotechnology and Human Interface Capability

  • Dr. Christian Whitchurch, Human Systems Portfolio Director, Defense Innovation Unit

  • Aaron Harlan, UI/UX and 3D Designer, FoVI3D

Location: Captain America, 8th Floor

14:00 - 14:45

Panel: National Mission Force of Innovation

Given recent events and global challenges, the Defense Innovation Unit (DIU) has been realigned to report directly to the Secretary of Defense to act as the National Mission Force of Innovation focused on strategic impact, teaming, and leveraging our allies and partners. This will sharpen the Joint Force’s technological edge and help our nation deter the pacing challenges of China and acute threats such as Russia. This open forum, hear from our Geographic Combat Commands on their most pressing challenges and how we can support you in having an impact on our national security.


  • Lt. Col Alex "STOIKY" Goldberg, DIU Austin Hub Director, Defense Innovation Unit (moderator)

  • George Dubynskyi, Deputy Minister of of Digital Transformation, The Ministry of Digital Transformation of Ukraine