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Director's Innovation Initiative (DII)

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  Director's Innovation Initiative

   Accepting Proposals March 20 – May 5, 2023




The Director’s Innovation Initiative (DII) invests across the U.S. in cutting edge technologies and high payoff concepts relevant to the NRO’s mission of overhead ISR for National Security.


  • 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 solicit proposals that

  • Improve existing NRO capabilities.
  • Adapt existing techniques and technologies to its 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 microelectronics/photonics 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)

The Acquisition Research Center screenshot

Questions?  Contact: DII@nro.mil


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 (acq.westfields.net) 20 March – 05 May 2023.

Where can I learn more information? You can contact us at DII@nro.mil and read the Broad Agency Announcement (BAA) or the Government Sources Sought Announcement (GSSA) posted on the ARC website (acq.westfields.net).

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.