The Navy outlined a new initiative on Thursday designed to increase its ability to more quickly adopt new innovations in the commercial information technology sector to more rapidly response to new cyber threats.

The goal is to work more closely with industry to focus on problems and solutions to make the Navy more agile in addressing cyber-security, while finding ways to work more efficiently within the acquisition system and regulations, including by enlisting more small businesses, said Victor Gavin,  the Navy’s program executive officer for enterprise information systems (PEO EIS).

The initiative, called the Innovation Cell, will look for other acquisition approaches that are often overlooked but within federal guidelines, Gavin said. He said one option is to apply greater use of engineering change proposals that can exist in programs to bring in new ideas.

“We’ll be using every innovative acquisition vehicle we know to help accelerate these technologies,” he told reporters on the sidelines of an industry day co-hosted with the  Armed Forces Communications and Electronics Association (AFCEA).

Gavin said that last year the country spent billions to deal with cyber problems when 97 percent could have been avoided with the adaption of new technologies.

“It’s our goal to get as close as we can to having our systems, our processes ready to adopt those new technologies as they become available, in order to protect our networks,” he said.

“This process is more about innovating the acquisition process than it is about innovating the technology,” he added.