Department of Defense Announces Technological Innovation Office in Cambridge

May 24, 2016


Kelsey Abbruzzese, MassDevelopment, 617-330-2086 & 617-448-9077 (cell)

Secretary of Defense Ashton B. Carter has announced the Department of Defense will create a new Defense Innovation Unit Experimental (DIUx) for the eastern United States in Cambridge. This office will complement the work of DIUx Silicon Valley, which the Department of Defense established in August 2015 in Mountain View, California. DIUx East will create a hub for collaboration between DoD and innovative companies to identify and leverage cutting-edge technologies, business practices, and ideas from unique sources.

In April, Governor Charlie Baker announced the Massachusetts Innovation Bridge, a partnership between the Commonwealth and The MITRE Corporation that will complement the DIUx office. The Innovation Bridge will help federal agencies solve the nation’s most difficult challenges by tapping into the world-leading innovation and high-tech ecosystem in Massachusetts, while creating new business opportunities in the Commonwealth.

“Massachusetts’ competitive climate, academia and industry have made the Commonwealth a national leader in innovation and collaboration,” said Governor Baker. “I would like to thank Secretary Carter and the Department of Defense for recognizing these qualities and choosing the Commonwealth for DIUx East, which will enhance the connections between our cutting-edge companies and military installations.”

These high-tech initiatives follow the work of the Massachusetts Military Asset and Security Strategy Task Force, in partnership with Governor Charlie Baker and the Massachusetts Congressional Delegation, on the addition of another major, highly technical Department of Defense program directorate at Hanscom Air Force Base, the Nuclear Command, Control, and Communications (NC3) Integration Directorate and Program Executive Officer (PEO). The NC3 PEO will oversee the acquisition and integration of a complex system of land, air, and space technology programs that assures connectivity and communications between senior leaders and the U.S. nuclear forces; it will not house actual weapons.

“Massachusetts is a great fit for DIUx East, and I know the Defense Department will benefit from the tremendous resources our state has to offer. This project will create new opportunities for businesses here in Commonwealth to partner with the Defense Department, which will strengthen national security and help grow our innovation economy,” said Senator Elizabeth Warren.

“Massachusetts is Silicon Valley East, and our innovation economy leads the way in cybersecurity, health IT, and telecommunications,” said Senator Edward J. Markey (D-Mass.). “This announcement reflects how valuable the Commonwealth is to the future of our nation’s defense. Hanscom Air Force Base, our academic institutions, and our cutting-edge technology companies will collaborate with the Department of Defense to create a hub of innovation that gives our servicemembers a technological advantage on the battlefield.”

“I am pleased the Department of Defense is opening a Defense Innovation Unit Experimental East in Cambridge,” said Congressman Mike Capuano. “It reinforces what we already know, that Cambridge is a valuable research and development hub. Setting up a DIUx office here will offer DoD exposure to research being conducted by some of our leading universities and will expand opportunities for job creation and economic growth.”

“This decision is the latest in a series of actions taken by the U.S. Department of Defense that illustrate the key role Massachusetts plays in keeping our servicemembers safe, successful and equipped with cutting edge resources. Our state’s unique ecosystem brings together high-tech companies with top-tier academic institutions, research facilities, military installations and a highly skilled workforce. Secretary Carter’s decision to establish a Defense Innovation Unit in Boston is recognition of the widespread economic and national security benefits that our region readily provides,” said Congresswoman Niki Tsongas (MA-3).

“We know that Massachusetts is a leader on high-tech innovation and the development of cutting-edge defense technologies, and Secretary Carter’s decision to establish a new Defense Innovation Unit Experimental (DIUx) in Cambridge provides further proof,” said Congressman Seth Moulton D-MA). “The innovation economy is the future, and I look forward to seeing what new opportunities DIUx brings to the Commonwealth, as well as what advancements for our defense and our troops Massachusetts can bring to the Department of Defense.”

“Secretary Carter and the Department of Defense deserve a great deal of credit for strengthening the partnership between the Pentagon and the Commonwealth’s world-class innovative companies to benefit the defense sector and Massachusetts businesses alike,” said MassDevelopment President and CEO Marty Jones. “We look forward to the new ideas and practices that DIUx East will help generate.”

About the Military Asset and Security Strategy Task Force
Housed within the Office of the Governor and supported by the Executive Office of Housing and Economic Development and MassDevelopment, the Task Force coordinates among the Commonwealth’s six military facilities to maximize their efficiency. The Commonwealth of Massachusetts is home to six military installations with more than $13 billion in total economic activity and support for nearly 58,000 jobs, including Hanscom Air Force Base, Natick Soldier Systems Center, Joint Base Cape Cod, Fort Devens, Westover Air Force Reserve Base and Barnes Air National Guard Base.