Chief Digital & Artificial Intelligence Office Procurement Forum
The Chief Digital & Artificial Intelligence Office (CDAO) Procurement Forum took place on November 30, 2023 in Arlington, VA. Its purpose was to expand and strengthen CDAO's collaborative network with established and non-traditional partners in the rapidly evolving field of Artificial Intelligence (AI). With the office’s ambition and budget doubling in the past year, the CDAO is actively seeking ambitious and innovative organizations to learn about our mission, explore opportunities, and compete for a chance to contribute to cutting-edge AI standards development within the Department of Defense (DoD).
At the Forum, industry partners, key DoD initiative leaders, and the CDAO engaged in action-focused discussions. The objectives of our discussions were to:
- Expand and diversify CDAO's industry base
- Understand the mission, needs, and opportunities of each stakeholder in advancing AI across the DoD
- Empower industry partners with the necessary information, tools, procurement forecasts, and other assets to compete in support of CDAO's mission
The Forum focused on key topics including the FY24 Procurement Forecast, Assisted Acquisition Procurement, Large Language Models, Data Mesh, AI Scaffolding, SBIR-STTR, and Acquisition Ecosystem Building. Additionally, there were specific discussions to enable an understanding of the needs of key government stakeholders, including Advana/Enterprise Platform Capabilities, CJADC2, Responsible AI, and Task Force Lima.
Overall, the Forum aimed to cater to participants' interests and needs, thus enabling a comprehensive learning experience. Each session was designed to foster knowledge-sharing, meaningful discussions, and collaboration to deepen the connection between industry partners and the CDAO.
CDAO Procurement Forum Participants
Over 600 individuals from industry and academia expressed interest in the Forum. Space was limited and attendee selections were made to provide a diversity of small, large, traditional, and non-traditional organizations who are both currently engaged and have never been engaged with the CDAO.
The next CDAO Procurement Forum is planned for FY24Q2 or FY24Q3. Individuals who expressed interest are now part of the CDAOs’ Acquisition Ecosystem and have priority for attending the next Forum.
Hosted by the CDAO, Advantage DoD 2024: Defense Data & AI Symposium will be held on February 20-22, 2024, at the Washington Hilton in Washington, DC. Registration details for this marquee event are available here.
During the Forum, participants submitted questions digitally via QR Code. View the Q&A LOG below and check back frequently for updates as more questions and answers are added.
****** ANSWERS TO ALL QUESTIONS ARE CURRENTLY IN PROGRESS ******
Morning Sessions: A Space for Dialogue about CDAO’s Formation and FY24 Priorities
Ms. Sharothi Pikar, Deputy CDAO for Acquisition, kicked off the Procurement Forum and emphasized the CDAO's crucial role in transforming the department's technology, which includes finding AI solutions and promoting AI adoption across the DoD. Subsequent morning sessions focused on the FY24 CDAO Procurement Forecast and the roles of GSA/FEDSIM, the Chief Technology Office, and Tradewinds in supporting the CDAO’s FY24 priorities.
Welcome & Scene Setting
Ms. Sharothi Pikar, Deputy CDAO for Acquisitions
PDF Presentation: 01 CDAO Procurement Forum Scene Setting Ms Pikar
“As the DoD's digital vanguard, the CDAO is entrusted with the crucial mission of harnessing the power of data, analytics, and artificial intelligence to propel the department into the future.”
FY24 Procurement Forecast
Quentin McCoy, Head of Contracting Activity
PDF Presentation: 02 Procurement Forecast Quentin Mc Coy
Assisted Acquisition Procurement
Ken Evans, Director GSA/FEDSIM
PDF Presentation: 03 Assisted acquisition Ken Evans
LLM Maturity Model, AI Scaffolding, Data Mesh, & SBIR/STTR Program
Dr. William Streilein, Chief Technology Officer | Rebecca Norfolk, Program Manager
PDF Presentation: 04 CDAO Procurement Day Dr Streilein
Acquisition Ecosystem Building
Anna Nichols, Procurement Analyst | Bonnie Evangelista, Acquisitions Policy Director
PDF Presentation: 05 Acq Ecosystem Building Anna Nichols
Tradewinds is a key part of the DoD’s efforts to create a strong ecosystem for modern acquisition. This ecosystem promotes collaboration between AI/ML vendors, DoD acquisition professionals, and other entities involved in procurement.
Beyond its role as a procurement tool, Tradewinds also cultivates a culture of innovation by fostering a vibrant marketplace for AI/ML solutions. Vendors gain a platform to showcase their latest offerings, while the DoD benefits from early exposure to emerging technologies.
The Tradewinds Solutions Marketplace is the DoD's digital environment of post-competition, readily awardable, technology solution pitch videos. For industry, academic partners, and individuals, the Marketplace is a single location to identify, describe, and promote data, analytics, digital, and AI/ML technology solutions, products, and services to the DoD in an environment with a rapid acquisition contract pathway.
How To Get Involved with the Tradewinds Solution Marketplace
- All CDAO Procurement Forum attendees have been enrolled to receive email updates when new Tradewinds Challenges are released. No action is needed; updates will be received via email.
- Visit tradewindai.com often to view Challenges that are currently live.
- If you have a product or capability that you believe will be useful to the DoD, submit a 5-minute video to the Tradewinds Solutions Marketplace. You can find instructions for submission and the SAM announcement here.
How can your organization BENEFIT from Tradewinds?
- Anyone within the DoD can procure your solution once you have been deemed awardable on the Tradewinds Solution Marketplace. That’s a game changer!
- You can use the Tradewinds Badge in your marketing material, signifying that you have an awardable solution. That’s a big deal!
- Acquisition professionals conduct market research within the Tradewinds Solution Marketplace. Your solution will be in front of buyers who may be looking for the product or capability that your company provides. That’s pretty powerful!
Afternoon Sessions: A Space for Understanding the Needs of Key Government Stakeholders
The afternoon sessions continued to foster collaborative discussions among participants. Small group "huddles" were organized where brief presentations on priorty topics were delivered. Participants actively engaged by asking questions, sharing thoughts, and expressing concerns. This facilitated an exchange of valuable insights and promoted understanding between industry partners and the CDAO.
Alex O’Toole, Engineering Solutions Lead
PDF Presentation: 09 Advana Enterprise Platform Capabilities Alex O Toole
John Waterston, Program Management Lead, CJADC2
PDF Presentation: 06 CJADC2 John Waterston
Katie Robinson, Associate Design Researcher, CMU | CDR Michael Hanna, Deputy of Cyber Assurance and RAI Risk Lead
PDF Presentation: 07 RAI Toolkit Katie Robinson CDR Michael Hanna
Lt Col Jeffrey Wong, Chief of Staff, Task Force Lima
PDF Presentation: 08 TF Lima Lt COL Jeff Wong
To view more information such as Videos, Participant Insights from attending members of the Procurement Forum, Social Media engagement and Digital Connections visit the original blog post by CDAO.