The Defense Department on Wednesday rolled out a new initiative meant to protect its future supply chain from investors that might seek to turn U.S. intellectual property into foreign military capabilities.
The “trusted capital” program — first authorized by Congress in 2017 — has already been up and running as a pilot effort in some pockets of DoD. Officials announced Wednesday they had quietly expanded it to a wider pool of vendors and investors in December via an online marketplace, and are now actively seeking more applicants.
The program works by pairing “capital providers” the Defense Department has vetted with small and medium-sized companies who are working on dual-use or military technologies, but need influxes of cash to get their products off the ground.
The main objective is to keep those firms from partnering with investment funds that exist primarily to take an ownership stake in a U.S. company’s intellectual property and then transfer it to China or other potential adversaries, said Ellen Lord, the undersecretary of Defense for acquisition and sustainment.
Also see DOD Launches ‘Speed Dating App’ Connecting Vetted Capital With Tech Companies at: https://www.nextgov.com/cio-briefing/2021/01/dod-launches-speed-dating-app-connecting-vetted-capital-tech-companies/171423/