Technology race against China a key concern for Pentagon acquisition nominee – SpaceNews

WASHINGTON — Michael Brown, a veteran tech business government who has led the Pentagon’s industrial outreach workplace since 2018, is President Biden’s choose for the Protection Division’s high procurement job, the White Home introduced April 2.

Brown was nominated to function undersecretary of protection for acquisition and sustainment. He’s at the the director of the Protection Innovation Unit, based mostly in Silicon Valley. The Obama administration created the workplace in 2015 to construct ties with startups and enterprise buyers, and assist transition applied sciences from the non-public sector to packages. 

The technological competitors with China has been a high concern for Brown throughout his time at DIU.  In 2018 he co-authored a paper on how Chinese venture investments are giving that nation entry to the “crown jewels of U.S. innovation.”

Chinese language enterprise offers early-stage know-how corporations have grown quickly in recent times, the mentioned. “The applied sciences the place China is investing are the identical ones the place U.S. companies are investing and that will probably be foundational to future innovation: synthetic intelligence, autonomous autos, augmented-virtual actuality, robotics and blockchain know-how.”

Beneath Brown, DIU turned an early supporter of rising house launch corporations like Rocket , Virgin Orbit and Relativity House. These corporations had been chosen by DIU to launch experimental DoD payloads as a part of an effort to determine how DoD can leverage industrial launch companies. 

DIU additionally invested within the space surveillance startup LeoLabs which tracks satellite tv for pc actions in low Earth orbit with a community of phased-array radars. 

As undersecretary for acquisition and sustainment, Brown would oversee a greater than $240 billion annual finances for army services and products 

Earlier than becoming a member of the U.S. authorities, Brown was the CEO of two public Silicon Valley know-how companies, Symantec and Quantum.

In a current interview with Francis Rose, host of Authorities Issues, Brown made the case that utilizing industrial options saves taxpayer {dollars}.

“It’s actually going to be necessary as budgets grow to be tighter on the Protection Division over the subsequent a number of years for us to reap the benefits of industrial know-how,” Brown mentioned. “ I believe that’s going to be vital, in order that we will save Protection Division {dollars} for these applied sciences the Protection Division in flip, must by itself — issues like hypersonics or directed vitality.”

Brown has advocated for the Pentagon to extra rapidly undertake industrial improvements. One in every of DIU’s targets was to not let related applied sciences languish within the so-called “valley of demise” as a result of it will possibly take years for the Pentagon to fund a program and difficulty contracts.

Former senior Air Drive acquisition government Will Roper praised the number of Brown to run DoD . 

“That is merely implausible information for all obsessed with serving to our army compete in a brand new period of world know-how,” Roper wrote in a social media put up.

Biden on Friday additionally nominated former Nationwide Safety Company official Ronald Moultrie to be undersecretary of protection for intelligence and safety. Moutrie is at the moment president and CEO of Oceanus Safety Methods. 

Former Pentagon comptroller Michael McCord, who served within the Obama administration, was chosen to return to his former put up as undersecretary of protection (comptroller), the Pentagon’s chief monetary officer. 

Protection Secretary Lloyd Austin endorsed the nominations. “Every of those people is gifted, skilled and extremely certified for the vital nationwide safety roles they may, if confirmed, undertake on behalf of the Division,” he mentioned in an announcement. “I sit up for working with the Senate for his or her speedy affirmation.”

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