DEF in the Community

DEF’s international footprint is growing! DEF Agora Taipei recently held it’s inaugural event alongside the NextGen Foundation. They were joined by Dr. Chan Hsiang-chih, and discussed how the Internet of Things can integrate with underwater unmanned vehicles and integrated undersea surveillance systems.

Interested in running your own DEF event? Contact our DEFx director or DEF Agora director for more information.
Tim Cooke’s article Innovation By and For the Government addresses how the nature of government and private sector relationships foster and sometimes inhibit innovation. Tim mentions a number of DEF allies and DEF, a “self-organized non-profit group of emerging leaders, civilian innovators, and social entrepreneurs.” His article is worth reading.

Update on the Membership Plan

Have you heard? You can now *officially* join DEF! Five years in and we’re still growing, which means we need your help. We announced a beta version of the membership program in Austin at DEF2017, and your feedback since then has been incredibly helpful. Like any lean start-up, we plan to keep iterating on the basic idea that DEF wants to inspire, connect, and empower members (without a required fee).

How can you help? Let us know your thoughts! We plan to keep an open period of comment and suggestion until December 15th, 2017. Shortly after the New Year, we’ll share the final version of the plan and start to concentrate on the programming this new funding stream will support. DEF was started by a group of passionate innovators – we’re looking for your help to shape the next evolution.


MD5, in collaboration with SOFWERX, is hosting a technology hackathon on December 1-3 in Tampa that focuses on wearables and their applications. They are looking for developers, designers, military, and academic and industry partners interested in building and demonstrating product prototypes that incorporate wearable technologies designed for performance in austere environments such as remote medical facilities, conflict zones, and emergency/disaster response. Winning teams receive up to $15K to further develop their concepts. Registration is open!
The Strategic Studies Institute Innovation in Government Contracting is hosting The Future is Now! Fast and Affordable New Capabilities using Other Transactions on December 6-7 in Falls Church, VA.  Attendees will hear from keynote speakers and attend breakout sessions while learning to reduce costs and work outside of the FAR system. Learn more here.

Defense One wants to hear ideas from DEF. We were thrilled by the response we received to the last Dispatch. If you still have a project, event, or experience that will improve the national security community and you would like to write about it, submit your article. If your article needs a little work, let us know and we’ll be happy to help!

Reading Theme: Autonomous and Remotely Operated Weapon Systems
After criticism of sea mammal program, Navy boots up robots
After the Navy’s Marine Mammal Program came under fire for its use of animals for military purposes, the Navy is expanding its use of underwater robots and synchronizing their efforts with autonomous watercraft and aircraft.

The US Navy Has Created Its First Even Underwater Drone Squadron
The Navy activated its first underwater drone unit, the Unmanned Undersea Vehicle Squadron 1 at the Naval Undersea Warfare Center in Keyport, Washington. The Navy plans for the squadron to become fully operational in 2020.

Armed Ground Robots Could Join the Ukrainian Conflict Next Year
Ukrainian military leaders demonstrated the Phantom robot early this month at the Association of the United States Army. The platform can carry and use anti-tank weapons, grenade launchers, or machine guns, and may be deployed in combat as early as 2018.

Do you know someone who’d be interested in DEF’s mission and events? Invite them to sign up for the Dispatch!

Categories: DispatchInspire