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News | Sept. 19, 2022

DLA seeks global supply chain solutions at R&D Industry Collider Day

By Christina Panichelle, DLA Information Operations

The Defense Logistics Agency Research and Development team brought together experts from government, industry and academia for the third annual Industry Collider Day Sept. 8. Over 600 registrants attended the six-hour virtual event to explore solutions that optimize and safeguard global supply chains.

DLA R&D Operations Integrator Martina Johnson told attendees they would gain a concrete understanding of what DLA does and how they can collaborate with the agency.

“We need your talents, your fresh ideas and your innovative solutions,” Johnson said. “DLA can’t transform and modernize without your support.”

DLA Chief Information Officer George Duchak reflected on previous partnerships formed at ICD that impacted DLA in meaningful, positive ways. He challenged attendees to build on that success.

“There’s always room at the table for creative, agile companies and organizations when we have a singular goal in mind: to serve the nation and America’s warfighters,” Duchak said.

He also noted that DLA R&D plays a critical role in safeguarding the agency’s supply chains.

“Our commercial sector and defense sector supply chains are inextricably linked,” Duchak said. “The Defense Department depends on the commercial sector’s supply chain resilience. Disruptions compromise our nation’s ability to deliver combat power and execute critical missions.”

Duchak highlighted DLA R&D’s role in providing real-time COVID-19 solutions for personal protective equipment, face shields and rapid test kits. He described how DLA supported an industry partner to fast-track a breakthrough rapid test that delivers results in under 20 minutes. It gained the Food and Drug Administration’s emergency-use authorization in February.

“The DOD depends on the commercial sector for pretty much all that we build and consume,” Duchak said. “Our innovations are putting together these available commercial inventions, components, and products in new and different ways to solve our warfighting needs.”

Interactive sessions sparked conversations between practitioners and researchers regarding greening, sustainability and strategic materials. Attendees also discussed supply chain resiliency, security and management.

The event concluded with the awarding of nine small business contracts in response to solicitations DLA issued in the previous weeks for research and development proposals on several technology domains. The solicitations, known as broad agency announcements, included detailed problem statements and challenges DLA faces. The contracts awarded at ICD are valued at $1 million.