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News | May 15, 2017

Developing an Innovation- Based Ecosystem at the U.S. Department of Defense: Challenges and Opportunities

By Adam Jay Harrison, Bharat Rao, and Bala Mulloth Defense Horizons 81

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Defense Horizons 81Key Points

  • The U.S. Department of Defense (DOD) is looking at new ways to spur entrepreneurship and innovation among its stakeholders and related constituencies. 
  • We recommend creating a platform within the DOD focused on developing the Human and Relational Capital components of the innovation ecosystem such as the MD5 National Security Technology Accelerator, an initiative that develops innovators and human-centered networks that create high-tech “ventures” relevant to national security. 
  • The proposed ecosystem would not only facilitate the development of high-tech ventures in the national security interest, but also educate and build networks of innovators and entrepreneurs, both inside and outside of DOD, who would be equipped with the incentives, expertise, know-how, and resources required to continuously develop, commercialize, or apply technology relevant to military needs. 
  • A competency framework for developing such an ecosystem that would encourage venture-led, dual-use products that provide a sustainable, competitive advantage for the DOD and the national economy is presented and discussed.