The Digital, Research, Innovation, Validation and Experimentation (D.R.I.V.E.) Consortium is being created to draw upon the best and the brightest that our nation has to offer for accomplishing a digital transformation of the Air Force. The scope is broad and intended to touch every aspect of the entire Air Force value-chain, which as result will necessitate engagement with a variety of industry stakeholders and academic institutions.
The innovation required for this transformative vision will require collaboration across companies to achieve some of the bigger objectives and others may be accomplished by a particular industry member with a unique capability. As RFP’s are developed, they will be released to the DRIVE Consortium members for consideration as an individual company or as a collaboration across companies. DRIVE will have a virtual collaborative working space to foster cross company engagement and innovation.
The RFP process for DRIVE will embrace the desire to accelerate innovation at a rapid pace, by making opportunities available to all DRIVE Consortium members simultaneously and shortening the time period from RFP release to award being granted in order to drive rapid innovation.
Former Assistant Secretary of the Air Force for Acquisition, Technology and Logistics, Dr. Will Roper captured an inspiring vision of the digitization effort in a video that draws upon some interesting analogies with the Matrix movie. If you have not seen this video is well worth your time in order to get a general understanding of the benefits of digitizing the Air Force.
As you can imagine, the Air Force has been laying the groundwork for this transformative effort for a number of years already and has amassed a solid foundation to build upon of digital subject matter experts within the Air Force Digital Transformation Office (DTO). You can reference the DTO’s website at the following link to learn about them as the DTO will be a key stakeholder and partner in this transformation effort. https://dafdto.com/
A transformation of this magnitude will require collaboration across multiple stakeholders within industry, government, and academia. The DRIVE Consortium will provide a collaborative working space where all relevant stakeholders can come together to achieve the desired Air Force digitization future state. One of the roles for academia in this effort is to be a source of knowledge and information that is a conduit to the broader digital eco-system to continue raise the bar of excellence for all of us.
Sinclair Community College is one such academic institute that is doing this through their “Digital Thread Initiative” podcasts which can be found on Spotify, iHeart, and Spreaker by searching “Digital Thread Bytes”, or YouTube by searching “Sinclair Digital Thread Initiative”.
Lastly, to enable the accomplishment of these impactful objectives, the Ohio Aerospace Institute has been awarded a six-year agreement which seeks to establish and operate a consortium that facilitates the U.S. Air Force’s commitment to the transformation of digital practices across its acquisition, operations, and sustainment enterprises. The consortium will be executed by OAI in collaboration with the Air Force Research Laboratory (AFRL), establishing an ecosystem for mitigating transformation risks in U.S. Air Force programs and activities.
OAI welcomes all companies, academic institutions and government centers that have a passion for digital transformation, to join the DRIVE Consortium, so that collectively and individually we can help the Air Force realize the transformation that they seek. Apply to join today.