The Pentagon is increasingly embracing the startup community as means to expand its technological arsenal, but traditional defense contractors could still be the ones putting most of those new tools into practice, according to top military brass.
In August, the Army stood up the Futures Command, a four-star unit charged with overseeing the service’s decade long modernization effort. With a 500-person staff and an annual budget of $100 million, the group will work to build state-of-the-art weaponry, vehicles and communications networks.
Central to that mission is working with the small companies on the bleeding edge of artificial intelligence, virtual reality and other emerging technologies, said Lt. Gen. Eric Wesley, director of the Army’s Futures and Concepts Center and deputy commander of the Futures Command.
“We want to be part of this ecosystem, and so we are embedding ourselves into it,” Wesley said recently at SXSW, speaking just a few blocks from the Austin-based startup incubator where Army Futures set up shop. “[The startup community] is the group we most need to be engaging with.”
Keep reading this article at: https://www.nextgov.com/emerging-tech/2019/03/army-will-need-traditional-vendors-help-putting-startup-tech-use/155428/