DISA gets injection of funding for small-business rapid innovation projects

July 25, 2016

Small technology companies specializing in cybersecurity will see a significant boost in money for rapid-development projects as a result of nearly $10 million in new funding from the Defense Information Systems Agency.

DISA’s Rapid Innovation Fund (RIF) has acquired $9.7 million from the Defense Department’s Office of Small Business Programs to fund technologies in support of U.S. warfighters.

The RIF team reports to the DISA Chief Technology Officer (CTO) and partners with the DOD Chief Information Officer and the Cyber Directorate. The program receives cybersecurity topics from within the agency and RIF officials review those topics to see which ones fit best with the program.

“RIF is about getting small business capabilities faster into the hands of those who need them,” said Erin Maultsby, a CTO electronics engineer and the DISA RIF coordinator and portfolio manager. “The team works with the Office of Small Business Programs to acquire funding for small business for innovative projects specifically in cybersecurity.”

RIF is looking to solve problems and solve them quickly—proposed projects must be completed within two years. “The technology we select has to be a mature prototype,” Maultsby said. “The goal is that at the end of two years it will be something that is ready to be operationalized.”

The RIF program has already secured just under $10 million in funding from the Office of Small Business Programs since fiscal year 2013 and officials are requesting an additional $9 million for three fiscal 2016 programs.

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