The Jan. 30, Investing in National Security Innovation breakfast attracted more than 150 government S&T leaders, venture capitalists, media, and industry professionals. In-Q-Tel President and CEO, Chris Darby, kicked off the event with a keynote focused on the opportunities and challenges with bringing innovative technology into the Intelligence Community. He provided an overview of how VCs approach investment opportunities and the difference in culture within start-ups vs traditional companies doing business with the government. Darby noted the ROI for companies to work with the IC and the various funding sources available. In closing, he noted "the battle is not for market share and revenue; it's for the norms that underpin the capabilities being delivered." Thereby, for the U.S. to effectively compete with our adversaries, we need a strong national strategy to bridge the gap between private sector innovators and the intel and national security community.
Following the keynote, a panel comprised of ADNI Pamela Duke, Office of the Director of National Intelligence; Alan Johnson, Central Intelligence Agency; Arun Seraphin, Senate Armed Services Committee; Kurt Scherer, C5 Capital; and Frank DiGiammarino, Booz Allen took the stage to dive deeper into the issues. Topics discussed included top technologies on the IC's S&T road map, considerations around funding, and what is needed to create a culture that truly supports innovation. Special thanks to Roger Mason, President of the Space, Intelligence and Cyber Sector at Peraton for moderating the lively conversation,