April 19, 2016
Westward Ho? Silicon Valley and the Future of Defense Innovation
By Brent Scowcroft Center
One of Ashton Carter's first trips outside Washington as Secretary of Defense was to Stanford University, in the heart of Silicon Valley, where he launched an initiative to rekindle the "partnership that has long existed between America's technology sector and its government and defense institutions." The initiative aims to "bring in new people with the talent and expertise we need...to contribute to our mission" and "expand our ways of investing in...new technologies and capabilities." Implementation of the initiatives and its reception have been mixed, reflecting the scope and complexity of the challenge.
The purpose of this event was to get behind the atmospherics of this outreach initiative and talk directly with entrepreneurs about the promise and prospects for engaging the commercial technology industry to solve the challenges of national security. The discussion featured:
• Dr. Mylea Charvat, Founder and CEO of Savonix;
• Mr. Gary Gysin, President and CEO of Liquid Robotics; and
• Mr. John De Santis, the Chairman and CEO of HyTrust.
The Atlantic Council Captains of Industry Series is a platform for senior executives in aerospace and defense to address the public interests their companies serve and the public policies that shape these markets. By engaging the perspective of business leaders about issues at the interface of defense ministries and industries, the series is cultivating a constituency for practical solutions to these problems.