The US military has issued a call to arms for American firms with leading edge, disruptive innovation to collaborate with the Department of Defense and its suppliers to maintain America’s lead in global defense systems.
This podcast, Commercial Innovation for Defense, explores both the need and the many solutions. Visit https://commercebasix.com
Ep27: China's Digital Currency-A Conversation with Yaya Fanusie
The Chinese are leading the effort to implement a digital currency. Starting first within China and then expanding to other nation’s around the globe, the People’s Bank of China, or PBOC, is developing a form of digital currency that enables controlled anonymity - privacy between parties involved in a transaction but full visibility of the transaction details by the Chinese state, in real time, of any and all transactions employing this digital currency system.
My guest for today’s podcast is Mr. Yaya Fanusie, an Adjunct Senior Fellow at the Center for a New American Security (CNAS). His research focuses on the national security implications of cryptocurrencies and blockchain technology.
Mr. Fanusie explains how this new digital currency system operates, the risks and benefits of this system to both the Chinese state and the commercial participants, and some issues that the US and its western allies need to bear in mind as this system begins to expand around the globe.
You can download a copy of Mr. Fanusie's paper here: https://www.cnas.org/publications/reports/chinas-digital-currency
Ep26: Accelerating Defense Innovation (KesselRun Discussion)
Approximately five years ago, the Department of Defense began a new effort to collaborate with non-traditional defense suppliers as a means of accelerating its pace of innovation. The clear and present danger that is driving this strategy is the unprecedented rise of China’s economy and it’s growing military strength.
In today’s episode, my guest, Col. Sean O’Brien, a professor and department head at the National Defense University, explains some of the ways DoD is modifying its acquisition and development efforts in order to accelerate systems development as well as leverage the innovation of non-traditional commercial suppliers that normally do not do business with DoD. In particular, Col. O’Brien discusses the origins and success of the Air Force’s KesselRun project.
This podcast, Commercial Innovation for Defense, is hosted and produced by Mark Goode, a partner with CommerceBasix (commercebasix.com), a leading technology scouting firm that identifies commercial suppliers with products or services that could address US military capability requirements. Be sure and subscribe to this podcast for more interviews and information about this important national security topic
Ep25: Digital Currency, Blockchain, and China
In 2013 China announced the Belt Road Initiative, a $1 trillion project to link together countries and economies to form a Chinese-centric economic ecosystem. These linkages include telecommunications systems, physical roads and bridges, and a financial system built around a digital currency that also employs elements of blockchain. To date, over 60 countries accounting for two thirds of the world’s population have signed on to this project.
In this podcast, we have two subject matter experts discuss what these financial developments mean and could portend for the US. Our first contributor, Mr. Yaya Fanusie, is an Adjunct Senior Fellow at the Center for a New American Security (CNAS). His research focuses on the national security implications of cryptocurrencies and blockchain technology.
Our second guest, Dr. Victoria Adams, is the Chief Innovation Officer at the Value Technology Foundation, and founder of ConsenSys, the largest pure play Ethereum blockchain firm in the world.
Ep24: MITRE Government Contracting Expert Brings Clarity to DoD Contracts
As the US military ramps up its efforts to collaborate with commercial, non-traditional suppliers of innovative products and services, these commercial firms are often puzzled and put off by the complexity and the bureaucratic maze involved in securing a government contract.
In today’s episode, I interview Lorna Tedder, an agile acquisition expert for MITRE, and a former contracting officer for the US Air Force. Lorna is a change agent who throughout her distinguished career has worked to remove barriers to efficient contracting, enabling her government clients to get the best solutions as quickly as possible.
But Lorna also sees very clearly the obstacles and challenges that remain . . . and those that introduce unnecessary friction to today’s effort to collaborate with commercial suppliers.
With refreshing honesty and clarity, Lorna decodes some of the most important contract issues that any small business should understand when considering working for the US government. She explains in plain English what key terms and conditions mean and offers practical guidance on how firms should proceed when working with a government contracting officer.Links: https://aida.mitre.org and LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/lorna-tedder-18431579/
Ep23: Harnessing Commercial Autonomous Navigation for Military Uses
The DoD and the Trusted Capital Marketplace have identified autonomous systems as one of the 27 areas in which commercial technology could be leveraged for military applications.
In my discussion with Pete DeNagy, a subject matter expert on both autonomous systems and 5G, we tackle this challenge head on. After I define the somewhat unique characteristics of the military use case for autonomous systems (and the unique complexities), Pete explains how the commercial world is implementing autonomous vehicles . . . and be prepared; it’s likely different than you think . . . at least it was to me.
Rather than develop navigation systems that can inherently mimic the cognitive and control capabilities of a human driver, automotive manufacturers (and government agencies) are implementing communications-centric autonomous navigation systems, which leverage 5G, low latency, high bandwidth, and other properties as substitutes for the compute intensive (and algorithmically complex) alternative of mimicking human drivers.
Will this work in the battlefield? That’s where Pete illustrates how it can . . . what the key drivers are, what the central innovations that are required, and the rather short timeline that is needed to achieve this.
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Ep22: Understanding China's Threat to the United States
In 1989 the free world rejoiced as the Berlin Wall was torn down. Cheers went up again as the United States’ cold war adversary, the Soviet Union, collapsed in 1992. Some historians speculated that we had come to the end of history, that democracy and freedom, as articulated by America’s founders, would expand around the globe.
But it was not to be.
Starting with Deng Tse Peng’s pivot to state capitalism in 1979, the rush to outsource manufacturing to China in the 1990s, and China’s entry into the World Trade Organization in 2001, the world has watched in amazement as China has risen economically to the point of eclipsing the United States as the world’s largest economy.
But this extraordinary economic achievement has not been accompanied by a hoped for pivot to greater freedom for the Chinese people or China’s trading partners. On the contrary, the ruling Chinese Communist Party has cemented its authoritarian control over the Chinese people, implemented frightening Orwellian high tech surveillance, and is expanding its authoritarian values and oppression through its trillion dollar Belt Road Initiative, which now reaches over 70 countries, includes two thirds of the world’s population, and one third of its economic output.
My guest today is Col. Sean O’Brien, a professor and department head at the National Defense University and a career intelligence officer with the US Air Force. Col. O’Brien offers his personal assessment of the threats China’s poses the United States and its allies as well as his views of opportunities companies have to push back against this totalitarian threat.