Commercial Innovation Center

Easing integration of commercial capabilities for DoD and IC customers: 

Making commercial data useful, usable, and used

Virtual Demo     CIC Inquiries

The Commercial Innovation Center (CIC) is a first-of-its-kind online development and test platform that provides a secure, virtual, open ecosystem for developers and researchers to collectively harness the combined powers of commercial remote sensing, cloud technologies, secure DevOps, and advanced tools and services.

By design, the CIC encourages partnerships, increases data accessibility, integrates app development, and facilitates the creation of transition-ready prototypes.

Our trusted, unclassified, virtual development platform accesses multiple commercial remote sensing phenomenologies (e.g., EO, radar, IR, RF), connects emerging and established vendors with shared application tools and services, and facilitates GEOINT, MASINT, and Multi-INT research and development.

The CIC includes

  • An ecosystem of commercial data providers (CDPs)
  • A network of application developers
  • Common R&D data and COTS/GOTS services (e.g., loading, discovery)
  • Common testing data (curated, tagged)
  • Robust DevOps environment
  • Hybrid/Cloud agnostic infrastructure
  • Protected intellectual property and data rights

The CIC supports and enables industry, scientific, academic, and governmental R&D activities by facilitating access to commercial remote sensing data. The CIC integrates the hardware, software, processes, data, tools, internet accesses, demonstration capabilities, and other IT infrastructure required to perform CIC partner’s R&D.

"The explosive growth and evolution of commercial platforms will continue to drive breakthroughs and uncover key insights for top national security and DoD challenges. The CIC provides the ecosystem to fuel these revolutionary discoveries." – Mike Nelson, Vice President of Intelligence and Defense Solutions

“The CIC offers a secure environment for collaboration between small businesses and government personnel and provides a central location for secure development, testing, and evaluation of Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) / Small Business Technology Transfer (STTR) knowledge management.” – Ann Carbonell, PhD, CIC Director


M. Tatgenhorst (T-REX Innovation Center): "We are so excited to establish this new partnership. It fills an organizational goal we have for development of the region's geospatial ecosystem. Entrepreneurs and innovators, both locally and nationally, will have access to data they either didn't know existed or couldn't afford, and they will be able to experiment and make progress with this data in a collaborative environment without a government contract."

C. Woodard (NGA): "This is the missing piece for T-Rex to interact with entrepreneurs and students. NGA often can’t share data without contractual agreements. This could help them with their challenges."

P. Hagen (T-REX Innovation Center): "Kudos to Riverside Research. We look forward to supporting our entrepreneurs and innovators with the data and expertise that Riverside can offer, and to supporting our federal, state, and community partners with innovative solutions to some of their most pressing challenges."

“Industry and government organizations require access to collaborative data repositories that are tightly controlled with cyber secure protocols, Risk Management Framework (RMF) compliance, and role-based access controls, resulting in the implementation of DFARS Clause 252.204-7012, Safeguarding Covered Defense Information and Cyber Incident Reporting. This regulation can be costly to small businesses with limited resources, hindering their ability to exchange innovative ideas and research with government entities.” – MDA21-D001: Secure Collaboration Environment



CIC Foundational Pillars Infographic



Collaborative. Agile. IP-Protected. Access-Controlled.
The CIC’s robust development environment allows partners to create, integrate, and test applications and services within a secure ecosystem. Through the CIC DevOps environment, partners can pursue the development of their capabilities, continuously adjusting capabilities to address their evolving R&D needs and improving the DevOps pipeline.


Easing of Integration—Improve the DevOps Pipeline

CIC Dev Ops Curve


CIC Security Cornerstones

  • Identity and Access Management: Users and services are only provided the privileges to the appropriate resources at the right time.
  • Multi-Factor Authentication (MFA): All users are required to employ multi-factor authentication to gain access to project-specific resources.
  • Encryption: All data at rest and in transit are protected by industry-standard encryption.
  • Resource Isolation: All project resources are isolated to the appropriately provisioned users.
  • Ubiquitous Logging: Full visibility and accountability of management, infrastructure, storage, operating system, and application events. 
  • Enables Data Controls: How and who the data is shared through CGI’s Secure Data Fabric.
  • Security: Access control by project, tracking by user, and protected by IAM and network controls.

The system security plan (SSP) and applicable control framework was developed based on the minimum DFARS requirements that are defined for Controlled Unclassified Information (CUI) in NIST SP 800-171.


Secure, common pathways to data and services
The CIC monitors and audits user activity and data movement. Using a hybrid-cloud infrastructure, it leverages Amazon Commercial and Gov Clouds and will continue to grow to include Microsoft’s Azure, Oracle, and Google’s GCP. 

Leveraging advanced techniques to ensure the security of transferring data
The CIC leverages advanced techniques to organically address the data management issue to appropriately distribute and track data, including deliverables, to all relevant project partners and archival repositories.

Lowering barriers to entry
The CIC employs authentication methods that do not restrict small businesses to the use of a CAC and/or a username/complex password combination.



Access and use commercial tools and data without incurring direct costs
CIC partners have access to commercial tools and applications from a variety of vendors looking to vet their applications with real data and problems, while expanding their product’s reach. The CIC is currently partnering with several commercial earth observation data and data visualization software providers for its initial implementation.

Partners also have access to unclassified commercial source and product data encompassing a variety of sensing phenomenologies. All of this data is from multiple providers and are all licensed for R&D purposes.

CIC partners can access and use the CIC’s tools and data, as well as their own, without incurring direct costs.

Provides architectural flexibility
The CIC seamlessly integrates future plug-ins and supplemental tools.



Access. Collaboration. Protection.
The CIC is furthering development on a governance structure to enable (and never discourage) collaboration, provide full access to data and services, and protect user intellectual property and data rights.

CIC articles




Dr. Ann Carbonell, CIC Director,

Jeff Oltmanns, CIC Chief System Engineer,

Mitch Thompson, CIC Chief Data Scientist,

white test button
Commercial Innovation Center Infographic