The National Defense Industrial Association (NDIA) and U.S. Special Operations Command are hosting a virtual Special Operations Forces Industry Conference (vSOFIC) online, May 11-15.

Image credit: NDIA

After canceling this year's annual SOFIC event in Tampa, Florida, because of the COVID-19 pandemic, NDIA and SOCOM developed a new online platform to enable special operations professionals and industry partners to learn, network and collaborate on the initiatives and capabilities needed in the future.

“We understand the importance of the collaboration among industry, the government and academia to solve those most difficult challenges our warfighters face,” said Hawk Carlisle, NDIA’s president and CEO. “We look forward to bringing together, virtually, special operations throughout the country for this significant event that continues our collaboration with SOCOM.”

The virtual conference will include remarks, presentations and Q&A sessions with SOCOM leaders and acquisition, science, technology and logistics professionals. This year's conference theme is “Expanding the Competitive Space.”

“During this time, having an opportunity to explain our capability needs and give industry leaders a chance to tell us what they have to offer may be more important than ever,” said SOCOM Acquisition Executive Jim Smith. “We’re especially excited that an online format will not only meet the needs of our current, valued industry partners but may also attract new teammates from the digital and cyber tech base.”

SOCOM has opportunities for industry innovation in many areas, including next-generation intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance, next-generation mobility, precision fires and effects, hyper-enabling the operator, and biotechnologies. Additionally, innovation opportunities in data and networks exist for emerging requirements in software, artificial intelligence, machine learning and data analytics in web-based information operations, mission command systems and more.

SOCOM also has opportunities to collaborate in a new Digital Engineering Lab unveiled in September. The lab facilitates development, testing and employment of new technical approaches to modernizing warfighting decision-making.

For additional information on the virtual conference and registration instructions, visit www.vSOFIC.org. To find out what’s happening on the SOFIC exhibit floor and more, view SOFICTV – the official network for the Special Operations Forces Industry Conference.