The Defense Department’s Bridge to Small Tech Firms

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As the United States seeks to retain its qualitative military edge over our peers, our military leaders have expressed an increased desire to rapidly acquire and field the innovative technology that the American private sector has to offer. Last month, Defense Secretary Ash Carter addressed leaders from Silicon Valley to communicate his Department’s focus on “building and rebuilding bridges with America’s technology and business community.” And yet, obstacles for both the Defense Department and private sector often preclude building effective partnerships. These include a dense government bureaucracy, misaligned resourcing processes, a crowded and ever expanding private sector marketplace, and a risk adverse culture that reinforces the status quo.

As part of Business Executives for National Security’s (BENS) continuing examination of the Defense Department business processes, two BENS members have provided their perspective on the interaction between small businesses and the Department. Robert Chamberlain explores how the so-called “valley of death” obstructs effective collaboration, while David Gray offers potential solutions for how these types of challenges might be mitigated. Although reflective of BENS’ perspectives on how the private sector can contribute to improving the Defense Department’s business processes, the views expressed below are those of the individuals.

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Categorized as:Tech/Cyber

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