USSOCOM Innovation Foundry (IF14) Event

Collaboration Event (CE)

12-14 December 2023

Host Name: Gabby Robles

Location: SOFWERX

Share on Social Media

Submissions Closed 30 October 11:59 PM ET

SOFWERX, in collaboration with USSOCOM’s Directorate of Science and Technology (S&T) Futures, will host the fourteenth Innovation Foundry (IF14) Event in Tampa, FL, which intends to bring together Special Operations Forces (SOF), industry, academia, national labs, government, and futurists in an exploration, design thinking, facilitated event to assist USSOCOM in decomposing future scenarios and missions.

Political, social, and technological developments will have an increasing impact on the future of world societies. Organizations, militaries, governments, and entire economies rely on complex digital infrastructures for their operations. The safety and reliability of these information systems are of significant concern to organizations around the world, while malicious actors seek to exploit vulnerabilities to achieve their ends. Because of this, cyber security has been a focus of increasing attention and will be of critical importance in the future operational environment.

The theme of IF14 is SOF Aspects of Cyber Security in 2035. The event seeks to explore the nature of cyber security operations and infrastructure in 2035 and SOF’s role in this environment.

Specific areas of interest include the growth of digital infrastructure for civilian and military systems; the impact of artificial intelligence technologies in the design, implementation, exploitation, and securing of information systems; the impact of innovative communications, networking, and control systems on future cyber infrastructure; advancements of quantum computing and encryption tools; as well as offensive and defensive approaches including prevention, pre-emption, detection, isolation, defeat, and the exploitation of digital vulnerabilities.

In this effort, S&T Futures is working with the Next-Generation Effects (NGE) and Network and Data Management (NDM) Capability Function Areas, in conjunction with echelons of intelligence and operational staff.

S&T Futures has developed and refined a unique process, the Innovation Cycle, to engage technology pioneers and leaders, and to discover and develop high risk, innovative, and disruptive technologies for future on-boarding. This Innovation Foundry is the first phase of the Innovation Cycle and will be focused on idea generation. Deliverables for the IF14 event will include preliminary capability concepts targeting the defined problem areas which may impact SOF forces and operations in the 2035 timeframe in cyber security. This event will be followed by: 1) a Rapid Capability Assessment (RCA) to further develop the preliminary capability concepts and, 2) a series of Integrated Technology Sprints (ITS) to demonstrate proofs of concept.

Why You Should Participate
The event will be a compelling opportunity for leading minds in industry, academia, labs, and government, as well as subject matter experts (SMEs) to collaborate and ideate with other experts.

If you are an expert in any of the following areas of interest or in related fields, please consider participating in IF14.

  • Analytics
  • Anomaly detection
  • Artificial intelligence
  • Blockchain
  • Cloud security
  • Code and infrastructure vulnerability analysis
  • Communications systems
  • Cryptography and cryptanalysis
  • Cyber intelligence operations
  • Cyber operations
  • Cyber security
  • Dark web
  • Data loss protection
  • Data networks
  • Defensive cyber operations
  • Demographic studies
  • Digital rights management
  • Encryption
  • Exploit development
  • Human factors
  • Industrial control systems
  • Information systems security
  • Insider threat
  • Internet of things
  • Intrusion detection
  • Large language models
  • Li-Fi networks
  • Machine learning
  • Malware, anti-malware
  • Network and endpoint characterization
  • Network security
  • Offensive cyber operations
  • Penetration testing
  • Political science
  • Psychology
  • Quantum communications
  • Quantum computing
  • Radio communications technologies
  • Ransomware defeat
  • Satellite-based networks
  • Satellite communications technologies
  • Social engineering
  • Social media and marketing
  • SOF operations
  • Supervisory control and data acquisition (SCADA)
  • Threat response analysis
  • Virtual private networks
  • Zero trust framework

During IF14, selected participants will ideate, collaborate, and develop concepts for the future needs of SOF. USSOCOM also uses Innovation Foundries to build key relationships with entrepreneurs and technology developers.

Problem Statement
The rapidly changing nature of SOF’s future operational environment will increasingly involve a dynamic cyber infrastructure. Cyber operations and tools are significant parts of SOF missions, and their use is likely to increase in the future.

  • SOF will need to develop a vision for the future of cyber security operations, plans, and policies to achieve their objectives in the future cyber security environment.
  • SOF must identify, understand, and combat cyber security risks and vulnerabilities.
  • SOF must develop new concepts of operation for cyber security to effectively operate in the future cyber security environment.
  • SOF must identify human, machine, and network-based adversarial actions in cyber security, and take appropriate measures with partners and allies at machine speed.
  • SOF must identify, recruit, and train talent to effectively operate in the future cyber security environment.

What you will do at IF14:

  • Vision for what might be the characteristics of the 2035 operational environment from a cyber security perspective.
  • Discussion of what might be the predominant technologies within the future operational environment.
  • Concept for how these technologies might be applied towards cyber security.

To describe what might be, participants will:

  • Not limit themselves to mere extensions of today’s environment, technologies, and processes.
  • Describe innovative concepts for the future operational environment in a science-fiction-like manner.
  • Identify the investments SOF needs to make now in order to succeed in the future operational environment.

Event Timeline
Completed Phase 1 – 05 October 2023 to 30 October 2023 Submissions Open: Futurists and visionaries from industry, academia, government and national labs who are experts in the areas of interest listed above and those who are specialized in SOF Operations are encouraged to participate in the IF14 Event by submitting a CV *(Curriculum Vitae) below NLT 30 October.

*Please note: each individual must submit their own CV for possible SME selection for the event

Completed Phase 2 – 30 October 2023 to 10 November 2023 SME Review: The S&T Directorate Future’s Team will review SME submissions and notify SOFWERX of invited participants. SOFWERX will notify participants of their attendance status o/a 15 November. 

Completed Phase 3 – 12 December 2023 to 14 December 2023 Innovation Foundry 14 Event: During the event, selected participants will collaborate and ideate with fellow SMEs, the S&T Directorate Future’s Team, and U.S. and International SOF Operators on the concept areas above. Selectees should plan for workdays from 0800-1700 ET.

This event will be held in person at SOFWERX in Tampa, FL.

Phase 4 – Path Forward:

Successfully negotiated awards may fall under any combination of these categories:

NOTE: Awardees may need to be compliant with NIST SP 800-171, Protecting Controlled Unclassified Information (CUI) in Non-Federal Systems and Organizations


For event-related questions, please contact Gabby Robles

© 2015 - 2024 SOFWERX, Inc. All rights reserved.