A new agreement between a civilian government agency and the private sector will assist the Department of Defense’s Joint Artificial Intelligence Center in “further enhancing cyber operations,” according to a new release.

The company, Excella, entered into a joint venture partner letter agreement with the National Technical Information Service, a subagency on the Department of Commerce, to work on a 10-month project worth $10 million. The project is centered on enhancing cyber operations by accelerating AI adoption.

The JAIC is tasked with developing and delivering enterprise AI capabilities to the Pentagon. There are “several" other companies involved in the agreement.

Excella will help develop a common AI framework and increase the DoD’s access to smart data. It will also build a sharing platform, a “highly sophisticated” infrastructure for defense missions and build an AI model to give the DoD actionable intelligence, taking “DoD’s decision making to the next level.”

“The vast amount of complex data spanning the DoD is rich in value and indispensable to protect U.S. safety and freedom at home and abroad. Cutting-edge AI applications can help DoD automate and accelerate data-driven decision making to improve department readiness,” said Jeff Gallimore, chief technology and innovation officer at Excella. “The DoD is making great strides through JAIC and our expertise will help the DoD and its departments leverage AI to advance data modernization efforts, technological capabilities and mission outcomes.”

The JAIC, which has been in operation for about 18 months, is developing a wide range of AI tools, from assisting with cyber operations to assisting in fighting wildfires. Led by Lt. Gen. Jack Shanahan, the JAIC is creating the Joint Common Foundation, essentially a one-stop shop for re-usable AI tools for data analysis, acquisition and standards across the department.

The JAIC desperately needs an enterprise cloud to enhance its operations, Shanahan has said, but that solution, the Joint Enterprise Defense Infrastructure (JEDI) cloud, has been delayed several times. The DoD awarded the contract in late October to Microsoft, but Amazon Web Services protested the contract in late October.

Andrew Eversden covers all things defense technology for C4ISRNET. He previously reported on federal IT and cybersecurity for Federal Times and Fifth Domain, and worked as a congressional reporting fellow for the Texas Tribune. He was also a Washington intern for the Durango Herald. Andrew is a graduate of American University.

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