Director's Innovation Initiative


Investing in technologies

Click for more information about the types of advancements we’re looking for to benefit NRO systems and overall mission.

The DII Solicitation is Open on the ARC. Accepting proposals 25 March - 28 June 2024

The Director’s Innovation Initiative (DII) invests across the U.S. in cutting edge technologies and high payoff concepts relevant to the NRO’s missions for national security. The DII is an annual program that regularly releases announcements and requests in search of innovative ideas that support NRO.


  • Allows for continuous access to revolutionary concepts and ideas
  • Provides access to non-traditional developers of NRO technology and broadens the developer base
  • Establishes risk tolerant environment for conducting potentially high payoff projects

Each year the program solicits proposals by releasing a Broad Agency Announcement and Government Sources Sought Announcement to:

  • Improve existing NRO capabilities;
  • Adapt existing techniques and technologies to NRO's mission;
  • Develop entirely new technologies, processes, or tools to meet NRO needs.

The NRO looks for unclassified and classified proposals from U. S. domestic education institutions, government agencies, non-profit and not-for-profit organizations, and private industry. The period of performance for successful DII proposals is generally nine months and carry a maximum award value of $500,000.

Areas of Interest

additional detail in the BAA posted on the ARC

design, components,
analysis, phenomenology,
and methodologies
associated with optical/IR
apertures and radio
frequency antennas for
both sensors and
communication links  

includes waveforms,
protocols, receiver,
transmitter, and networking
hardware, self-interference
cancellation, security and
authentication solutions,
architectures, and analysis  

Remote Sensing
sensor design, components,
analysis, phenomenology,
and methodologies for
remote sensing  

Satellite System Design
power systems, attitude
determination and control,
thermal management, and
for onboard processing  

data processing, fusion,
analysis, and contextual
understanding related to
intelligence production  

Other Disruptive Concepts
and Technologies

includes technologies and
methodologies that do
not fit well in
any of the other AOIs  

Follow the link below to create an account and apply to the DII as well as other ways of doing business with the NRO.

Acquisition Center of Excellence, Acquisition Research Center (ARC)

Questions?  Contact:


Who can apply? DII funding is open to U.S. persons, U.S. domestic education institutions, government agencies, non-profit and not-for-profit organizations, and private industry.

Are DII projects classified? The DII funds both unclassified and classified projects; however, the majority of the projects are at the unclassified level.

When are submissions open? This year the DII is accepting applications via the ARC ( in spring 2024

Where can I learn more information? You can contact us at and read the Broad Agency Announcement (BAA) or the Government Sources Sought Announcement (GSSA) posted on the ARC website (

Are there follow-on opportunities? Yes, projects that continue to be of interest to the NRO have the possibility of receiving follow-on funding.

Can I publish results funded by the DII? Publication decisions are made on a case-by-case basis based on classification, and publication is perceived to benefit to the US Government. Foundational research with universities are eligible for publication without further government approval.