When you think of working in the defense industry, you are right think about the arms – the military equipment, missiles, submarines, helicopters, etc. You’re quite right. So what it mean to be working in sustainable solutions in the world of defense tech?
The idea of working with the private sector for public applications is not new. In the past, most predominant forms of spending were through governmental entities such as DARPA as R&D directorate and for weapons and military development – the Central Intelligence Agency’s publicly funded venture capital firm – In-Q-Tel or the Defense Innovation Unit.
Their sponsored research today became the technologies in our daily lives – the GPS, the Internet, the microwave, artificial intelligence, were all products from the State investments in technology.
Emerging technologies today have far outpaced the contracting model, where it now needs to move towards venture financing. The types of threats we are facing today including cyber – are outside the security contractor supply chain. The existing model’s ability to keep pace in future warfare is questionable.
The world of defense tech is an interesting one, where it extends beyond the traditional arms to encompass artificial intelligence (AI), quantum computers, cyber, robot, 5G (5th generation), urban air mobility (drones) mobile communication, and aerospace technologies.
At the current Center, we build a hub of: a) challenging technical problems; b) globally shared security challenges c) the intersection of commercial and public sectors, and d) with significant economic upside. We seek to work with venture capitalists accelerating dual-use early-stage technologies by facilitating technology transfer, and forming strategic alliances.
We work with a network of highly vetted global advisors and partners, enabling us to map technologies to globally shared security challenges. We base our selection on performance, application of technologies to our partner’s mission capacities, and on complete alignment of interest.
So how can defense tech serve as means for sustainability?
Aerospace and automobiles both rely on high technologies but are both major manufacturing industries relying on advanced materials, electronics, embedded systems, mechanical components, engines, and structures.
The basic idea is the same – you invest into new technologies that are more efficient, faster, smarter but to invest into clean technologies doesn’t also release toxic chemicals or with greater mitigation mechanisms to control GHG emissions.
The battery-powered electric airplanes are, believe it or not, already here. By investing into dual-use (commercial and public) technologies, clean technologies in the commercial sector could be bolstered with public sector investments. Through partnerships and their collaboration with domestic and foreign defense conglomerates, we can accelerate the progress of companies making a material difference in carbon emissions through increased incentives.
The vision is to invest into technologies to help advance the capabilities of the defense sector to have advanced technologies and to develop technologies that will enable the industry to shift from nonrenewable to renewable resources for energy and materials in a significant way – and thus will help to achieve a secure and sustainable future.