The U.S. Department of Defense wants to work with more tech startups, and is expanding its 8-month-old Defense Innovation Unit Experimental (DIUx) as part of its efforts.
The expansion of the program will include a new office in Boston, in addition to the original office in Mountain View, California.
DIUx will also get an additional $30 million budget for "non-traditional companies with emerging commercial technologies that meet our needs," said Secretary of Defense Ash Carter.
Part of the objective of the unit is to rebuild ties between the military and the tech industry, said Carter. Since its foundation last spring, DIUx has hosted over 500 entrepreneurs and staged several events, according to Carter.
"We’re taking a page straight from the Silicon Valley playbook, we’re iterating to make DIUx better," he said.
The new office in Boston will help encourage collaboration with the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Harvard University and other East Coast-based startups.
Carter also announced a new leadership team. DIUx will be led by Raj Shah, a former director of security at Palo Alto Network, and will also include Isaac Taylor, who ran Google X and Douglas Beck, Apple's vice president for Americas and Northeast Asia.
Tech companies and the government have been at odds recently, especially with the legal battles between Apple and the FBI. But the federal government has increasingly asked the private sector for help with cybersecurity issues. In early March, Carter visited tech companies in Silicon Valley and Seattle as part of ongoing efforts to recruit their help in federal cybersecurity efforts. Some U.S. authorities have even encouraged threat intelligence information sharing between the private companies and the federal government.