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News | Jan. 31, 2014

Communicating mission needs to innovators

By DIA Public Affairs

DIA has developed a new way to expedite the traditional acquisition process and expand solution options for specific mission needs. Regarded as a doorway to innovation, the “Needipedia” website seeks the next great idea, practice or capability to support the defense intelligence enterprise.


Industry, academia, research organizations and even the enterprising individual may review DIA’s list of mission-critical needs. Updated frequently, the website supports a set of strategic mission areas, including contingency response support, counterintelligence and security, science and technology and organizational effectiveness.   


As an example, today’s list features a need to improve the quality of information DIA gathers in support of its human intelligence consumers. DIA needs a small form-factor camera with a processing platform capable of identifying a person under deteriorated conditions from more than 100 meters. Interested persons submitting ideas or contract proposals to the broad agency announcement will find this requirement posted with a need status, submission deadline, review cycle and added evaluation criteria. This process meets Federal Acquisition Regulations and is the entry point for the acquisition process


According to DIA’s Innovation Office, Needipedia changes the way the government asks for things, and enables mission elements to acquire mission solutions rapidly.


DIA’s Chief Innovation Officer Dan Doney notes that traditionally, when government wants to find new capabilities, the process of just asking for them takes six to nine months.


The transparency and efficiency of Needipedia brings a range of benefits to the acquisition process. It not only enables a legal and ethical conversation with extra-agency partners, but levels the playing field for a broader group of innovators as possible solutions are investigated.


It allows mission elements to steer industry, academia and individuals to a specific mission area or need, minimizing unsolicited communications and cold calls. It also makes opportunities to partner on specific needs or solutions readily identifiable to government and intelligence community partners.