DOD needs to bring its many innovations into a more unified ecosystem, Deputy Defense Secretary Kathleen Hicks said Monday at the Defense One Tech Summit.

“There’s lots of experimentation going on across the department,” Hicks said, according to Breaking Defense. “[But] we are really not quite at a point that we have an ecosystem that’s institutionalized and that’s truly strategic.”

Organizations throughout DOD will be able to propose experiments and compete for funding through a new Rapid Defense Experimentation Reserve (RDER, pronounced “Raider”).

“There’s a huge value in a competitive marketplace of ideas, and the services can provide that by bringing their different perspectives, their different core competencies, to bear,” Hicks said, adding that the innovations are more effective when the branches are working together.

“Where they do, that’s where I’m bringing RDER to the table.”

Air Force photo by Senior Airman Jennifer Zima