The Military’s Tech Matchmaker Is Getting Ready to Open Its Wallet

The Pentagon’s tech-firm matchmaker is poised to open its wallet, along with a new office in Austin, Defense Secretary Ash Carter announced on Wednesday.

The Defense Innovation Unit Experimental, or DIUx, which has so far funneled $3.5 million to a handful of tech startups firms, has plans to fund another 22 projects to the tune of $65 million.

DIUx connects smallish companies of the sort that populate Silicon Valley with potential customers inside the Defense Department. For every dollar DIUx puts toward a new technology or company, a partner military branch or command contributes $3. For instance, it brokered a $1-million contract, awarded Sept. 1 by Naval Special Warfare Command, to San Diego-based Shield AI to build small, self-guiding drones.

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