The 2019 iteration of the Special Operations Forces Industry Conference (SOFIC) — the premier gathering of US Special Operations Command (USSOCOM) officials and industry partners — kicks off this weekend at the Tampa Convention Center.

Among the keynote speakers at this year’s SOFIC are USSOCOM Commander Gen. Richard Clark, USSOCOM Acquisition Executive James Smith, DoD Undersecretary for Acquisition Ellen Lord, and other various SOCOM Program Executive Officers (PEOs) and civilian officials.

With these leaders, 438 exhibitors and 13,000+ attendees and officials representing over 50 countries will also descend on SOFIC to focus on this year’s theme: Accelerating SOF Innovation.

The SOFIC conference — agenda is here — commences in earnest on Monday, 20 May will run through Thursday, 23 May.

This year, USSOCOM, in cooperation with SOFWERX — a Tampa-based public-private innovator of technology designs fusing academia, civilian companies and other nontraditional DoD partners who work on SOCOM’s most challenging problems — will also be hosting Disrupter, an a multi-staged event designed to rapidly evaluate and acquire effective solutions relevant to specific SOF-relevant Technology Focus Areas (TFAs) — Artificial Intelligence/Machine Learning/Robotic Process Automation, Hyper Enabled Operator (HEO), and Next-Generation ISR.

During the Disrupter event, invited industry participants will be allotted a one-on-one session with the USSOCOM TFA evaluation panel to pitch, demonstrate and discuss their solutions. The forum will include a Q&A portion, and discussions may continue outside of the event. Solution brief evaluation criteria will be outlined in the event invitation. If the USSOCOM evaluation panel favorably evaluates a solution brief, negotiations for Phase III may immediately begin. Selectees may also be afforded the opportunity to showcase their capabilities in an open, expositional forum or as to be determined based on available room during SOFIC.

SOFIC exhibitors — here — will be displaying a wide array of products, primarily focused on ISR, C4, and tactical communications solutions.

New products and capabilities being advanced by vendors at SOFIC 2019 include: