The belief is that, in order to more rapidly develop future combat systems and warfighting models, the Army needed to promote “a culture of innovation, discipline and accountability,” by directly engaging a wider range of potential innovators.
DENVER (PRWEB) February 06, 2019
Since defense spending is one of the federal government’s biggest annual outlays, we tend to assume that the leading defense contractors, like Lockheed Martin, Northrop Grumman, and Raytheon, are the most dependent on government programs. Yet, a quick review of the landscape confirms that many important technologies are being developed and/or advanced by universities, laboratories and innovative entrepreneurs, which are even more dependent on receiving the funding that they hope to parlay into government contracts for breakthrough technologies and consumer products.
The recently created Army Futures Command, the epicenter of the US Army Modernization Strategy (https://www.army.mil/standto/2018-06-06), highlights the significance that the military is placing on elevating these startups and technology innovators. Rather than set up on a military base, the Army placed a major command center near a technology hub in Austin, Texas, a very desirable high-tech metropolis that is home to the University of Texas, as well as a plethora of technology innovators, scientists, and entrepreneurs. The belief is that, in order to more rapidly develop future combat systems and warfighting models, the Army needed to promote “a culture of innovation, discipline and accountability,” by directly engaging a wider range of potential innovators.
The Army formed eight Cross-Functional Teams (CFTs) and, by integrating representatives from program management, finance, testing, science and technology, and other critical functions, their goal is to improve new weapons systems development accountability and efficiencies, while making the American warfighter the best equipped on the planet.
This future force technology incubator model is a cultural shift for the Department of Defense, which has been driving innovation by, for example, reaching out to an internet leader, like Alphabet, when it’s time to address a cyber concern. In addition to the direct financial reward for addressing the military need, the participants often receive further benefits, ranging from funded R&D to new commercial offerings.
The other end of the development spectrum is occupied by inventors and entrepreneurs who hear about a problem and apply unique ideas to create the optimum solution. One such example is how Kraig Biocraft Laboratories (OTCQB:KBLB) tackled one of the highest profile, yet longest unresolved, issues; the US Army’s desire to procure mass quantities of spider silk fiber, which is believed to be the key to addressing multiple needs, ranging from the creation of the next generation lightweight anti-ballistics to numerous potential medial applications.
By creating specialized silk worms that are able to produce fibers that exceed spider silk’s performance, Kraig Labs became the leading recombinant spider silk fiber developer and has been operating under an agreement with the US Army. On top of delivering shoot pack panels to the Army last year, which are to be anti-ballistic performance tested, Kraig Labs is currently customizing fibers for the Army.
In addition to the potential military applications, Kraig Labs is working on securing commercial agreements, as it prepares to move to the next phase of its recently launched mass production program in Vietnam.
InVision Technologies may have been the poster boy for the military/commercial blended model, as it used its research awards to “develop prototype systems to detect and track concealed weapons, to locate underground structures such as bunkers and hidden weapons emplacements, and to detect buried mines and unexploded ordnance (UXO),” for the military.
Since its passive magnetic sensor technology has been “capable of detecting the presence of metallic objects, locating their positions in three dimensions, and tracking their movements in real time,” it became a natural for airport security, which, at the time, was mostly an afterthought.
Prior to September 11, 2001, InVision Technologies’ shares were trading around the $3 mark, but, after the attacks on the World Trade Center, its revenues and share price took off, which led to a $50 General Electric buyout.
Just as addressing NASA’s needs famously resulted in Tang, Teflon, and Velcro, many military technologies have become part of our everyday lives. Whereas I can’t remember the last time I saw Tang in somebody’s home, just about every kitchen has a microwave oven and canned food, which are military developments. Military travel technologies range from the Global Positioning System (GPS) and air travel to everybody’s favorite off road vehicle, the Jeep. Other military technologies that crossed over are nuclear power, computers, zippers, armor, numerous medical breakthroughs, Nylon, and drones.
The US government’s seed-funding functions as a bridge between promising start-ups addressing key governmental needs and expanding consumer offerings, so it should be fun watching the resultant technologies that are generated by the Army Futures Command initiative.
Connect with 24/7 Market News on social media:
About 24/7 Market News
As a pioneer in digital financial market media, 24/7 Market News (24/7MN) is dedicated to the swift distribution of financial market news and information. 24/7 MN provides comprehensive corporate communications resources and tools to engage the investment community.
24/7 Market News (24/7MN) is a third party publisher and news dissemination service provider that produces regular sponsored and non-sponsored reports, articles, stock market blogs, and newsletters covering equities listed on the NYSE, NASDAQ and micro-cap exchanges. 24/7MN holds no investment licenses and is NOT a financial advisory firm, investment adviser, analyst, or broker-dealer and does not undertake any activities that would require such registration. 24/7MN's market updates, news alerts and corporate profiles are NOT a solicitation or recommendation to buy, sell or hold securities.
The material in this release is intended to be strictly informational and is NEVER to be construed or interpreted as research material. All readers are strongly urged to perform research and due diligence on their own and consult a licensed financial professional before considering any level of investing in stocks. All material included herein is republished content and based on publicly available information which is believed to be reliable. 24/7MN makes no representations as to the completeness, accuracy, or timeliness of the material provided and all materials are subject to change without notice. The editor of 24/7MN owns KBLB shares that can and will be sold. 24/7MN and/or its affiliates are not responsible for any gains or losses that result from the opinions expressed and are not liable for any investment decisions by its readers or subscribers. Investors are cautioned that they may lose all or a portion of their investment when investing in stocks.
For further information on 24/7 Market News, please go to http://www.247marketnews.com
This release contains "forward-looking statements" within the meaning of Section 27A of the Securities Act of 1933, as amended, and Section 21E the Securities Exchange Act of 1934, as amended and such forward-looking statements are made pursuant to the safe harbor provisions of the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995.
"Forward-looking statements" describe future expectations, plans, results, or strategies and are generally preceded by words such as "may," "future," "plan," or "planned," "will," or "should," "expected," "anticipates," "draft," "eventually," or "projected." You are cautioned that such statements are subject to a multitude of risks and uncertainties that could cause future circumstances, events, or results to differ materially from those projected in the forward-looking statements, including the risks that actual results may differ materially from those projected in the forward-looking statements as a result of various factors, and other risks identified in a company's annual report on Form 10-K or 10-KSB and other filings made by such company with the Securities and Exchange Commission. You should consider these factors in evaluating the forward-looking statements included herein, and not place undue reliance on such statements. The forward-looking statements in this release are made as of the date hereof and 24/7MN undertakes no obligation to update such statements
24/7 Market News