U.S. Cyber Command is standing up a cyber version of SOFWERX, the public-private partnership run through Special Operations Command to foster greater innovation for rapid solutions.
DreamPort, run by the Maryland Innovation and Security Institute through a partnership intermediary agreement with Cyber Command, is described as a state-of-the-art facility where companies can bring in their capabilities to be worked on.
“If you have capability and [the government] want to kick the tires on it more — [but] you don’t have the cleared folks, you don’t have the folks that can actually go in and work with the operators directly — we can bring it in there,” Karl Gumtow, DreamPort director and CEO of the Maryland Innovation and Security Institute, said Sept. 6 at the Billington Cybersecurity Summit.
DreamPort can do training and development in a collaborative environment with the government, academia and industry to identify technologies and solutions that support Cyber Command’s mission.
Gumtow noted, however, that DreamPort is not a playground to work out crazy ideas. Rather, solutions brought must tie back to a requirement.
DreamPort plans to host hackathon-type events its calling rapid prototyping events where organizations can come in and work on a specific challenge in a competition for several days. Because these will be selective competitions, Gumtow said the government has an opportunity to engage directly with the leading companies in contracts and actually bring in that technology faster.
He said SOFWERX is a great exemplar for what the DreamPort will be.
DreamPort is drawing the attention from others across the joint force and outside Cyber Command.
“We’re looking to potentially leverage that as a mechanism to get after some of the cyber prototyping efforts,” Jack Dillon, cyber lead at Army Rapid Capabilities Office, said Aug. 22 at TechNet Augusta.
The RCO is moving out beyond its initial three focus areas of EW, PNT and cyber.
“The DreamPort construct is really powerful. It provides a venue for robust collaboration, problem solving and innovation; includes prototyping; and provides many contracting options,” Dillion told Fifth Domain through an emailed statement.
“DreamPort, the Army RCO may be able to partner with USCYBERCOM on rapid prototyping for Offensive Cyberspace Operations or Defensive Cyberspace Operations technical areas of interest.”