May 1, 2023 (Mountain View, CA)—Access to cutting-edge, commercial technology is vital for our national security. To ensure service members have timely access to commercial technology, the Department of Defense (DoD) is promoting broader use of agile acquisition methods by training a corps of acquisition professionals on the Defense Innovation Unit’s (DIU’s) acquisition process.
Recognizing the need to keep pace with commercial product cycles and adopt commercial procurement best practices, the Defense Acquisition University (DAU) and DIU have joined forces to develop and implement the Immersive Commercial Acquisition Program (ICAP). Under ICAP, DoD acquisition personnel work on Service-aligned projects, alongside a DIU contracting officer and project team as well as commercial solution providers on a variety of projects. ICAP participants will also take virtual classes on Other Transaction (OT) authorities through DAU’s Defense Acquisition Credentials program.
Up to six contracting officers will be competitively selected from across the DoD civilian and military communities to take part in the twelve-month immersive program. The ICAP cohort will receive targeted OT training and hands-on experience with every aspect of DIU’s Commercial Solutions Opening (CSO) process: from project curation to the basics of leveraging OT authorities and day-to-day project execution. ICAP participants will also get first-hand knowledge of the commercial sector.
Last year, DIU selected four outstanding applicants to participate in the inaugural ICAP cohort. The current ICAP fellows are set to complete their capstone projects in October 2023.
“I am incredibly proud of the first ICAP team - they have set a very high bar for future cohorts,” said Cherissa Tamayori, DIU Acquisition Director. “We’ve seen that the team has learned first-hand from this program how to leverage the OT authority, how to acquire novel commercial technologies, and be change agents in the use of flexible acquisition methods within their organizations.”