The Defense Innovation Unit (DIU) is an entity within the U.S. Department of Defense (DoD) that works to accelerate the adoption of commercial technology into the military and make the DoD more agile. The DIU offers various funding opportunities to companies that can provide innovative solutions to national defense challenges. This guide aims to shed light on these aspects to help potential applicants understand the process better.
The DIU Funding Application Process
The application process for DIU funding is rigorous and competitive. Here are the steps:
- Identify a Relevant DIU Program: DIU periodically releases Commercial Solutions Openings (CSOs) that outline the specific problem statements they are interested in addressing. These documents provide detailed information about the technical and financial requirements, as well as the evaluation criteria. It’s crucial to find a funding opportunity that aligns with your solution and capabilities.
- Prepare and Submit a Solutions Brief: Once you’ve identified a suitable funding opportunity, the next step is to prepare your solution brief. This brief should provide a detailed description of your solution, including its objectives, methodologies, timelines, and expected outcomes. It should also include a risk assessment and a description of your team’s qualifications and capabilities.
- Solution Evaluation: DIU uses a merit-based review process, where solutions are evaluated based on their technical merit, potential impact, and cost-effectiveness. This process can take several weeks, so patience is key.
- Prototype Proposal: If your solution brief is selected, you will be invited to submit a prototype proposal. This proposal should provide more detailed information about your solution, including a detailed project plan and budget. It should also include a demonstration of your solution’s feasibility and potential impact.
- Negotiation and Award: If your prototype proposal is selected for funding, the final step is to negotiate and accept the agreement. This involves finalizing the budget and terms and conditions of the agreement. Once everything is agreed upon, you’ll receive a Notice of Prototype Project Agreement (PPA), which officially marks the start of your project.
Financial Requirements for DIU
The financial requirements for DIU funding opportunities are designed to ensure that the applicant has the financial capacity to carry out the proposed solution and that the solution represents a good use of government funds
- Budget: The applicant must provide a detailed budget. This should include all anticipated costs, such as personnel salaries, equipment, materials, travel, and overheads. The budget should be realistic and justifiable, and it should align with the project plan.
- Financial Stability: The applicant must demonstrate financial stability. This can be done by providing financial statements or other evidence of financial health. The DIU needs to ensure that the applicant has the financial resources to complete the project, even if unforeseen costs arise.
- Compliance: The applicant must comply with federal cost principles. These principles, outlined in the Federal Acquisition Regulation (FAR) and the DoD Grant and Agreement Regulations (DoDGARs), provide guidelines on what costs are allowable and allocable.
- Good Faith: The applicant may need to provide cost-sharing or matching funds. While not always required, cost-sharing can demonstrate the applicant’s commitment to the project and can make the proposal more competitive.
DIU Funding Technical Requirements
The technical requirements for DIU funding opportunities are typically outlined in the Commercial Solutions Opening (CSO) or other solicitation documents. These requirements are designed to ensure that the proposed solution aligns with the DIU’s mission and strategic objectives and can include:
- Relevance: The proposed solution must address one or more of the problem statements identified by the DIU. These problem statements often revolve around areas such as artificial intelligence, cybersecurity, human systems, space, and advanced energy and materials.
- Feasibility: The applicant must demonstrate technical feasibility. This involves providing a detailed project plan that outlines the project’s objectives, methodologies, timelines, and expected outcomes. The plan should also include a risk assessment, identifying potential challenges and strategies to mitigate them.
- Team Expertise: The applicant must have the necessary technical capabilities. This includes having the right personnel with the appropriate expertise, as well as the necessary facilities and equipment.
Securing DIU funding is a significant achievement that can propel your research to new heights. While the application process is challenging, the potential rewards are immense. By understanding the application process, financial requirements, and technical requirements, you’ll be well-prepared to submit a compelling proposal.
Guide to DIU Funding Summary
If your company has considered applying for DIU funding, EverGlade Consulting is the right partner to help make that a reality. EverGlade has a full suite of experienced consulting professionals prepared to support your DIU Funding Application. Our team has helped both large and small companies prepare, submit, and win applications for federal funding. EverGlade consultants can help develop your business plan, prepare financial projections, and assemble a concise and complete package to take advantage of these unique programs. With a successful history of supporting diverse clients through the application process, our team’s unique understanding of the federal funding landscape will strengthen the chances of your proposal’s success.
For additional information about EverGlade Consulting visit EverGlade DIU Funding Consulting