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The US Department of Defense releases its National Defense Strategy (NDS) every four years, in which it summarizes the key strategic principles that will dictate the priorities of national security threats. When compared to previous strategies, the strategy published at the end of 2022 tells a different tale of innovation and investment in new technologies.

The report emphasizes that the US Department of Defense must “act urgently to sustain and strengthen US deterrence, with the People’s Republic of China (PRC) as the Department’s pacing challenge” and Russia as the “acute threat.”

Moreover, according to the report, the US Department of Defense is looking at institutionalizing technological innovation, stating that the department must follow through with digital transformation and calls for the incorporation of emerging technologies in the commercial and military sectors to solve key operational challenges.

To make this arrangement work, the defense sector must move beyond the used model of short-term partnerships and encourage them to form more holistic relationships with promising early-stage companies, including investment into operating businesses, according to This will provide a real interest in supporting a startup’s success and increase funding for companies during the phases they most need it.

Collaboration between the defense sector and the commercial sector is still far from simple, especially with the concern of potentially losing intellectual property. To truly move toward a more collaborative future, IP protection must be ensured and government agencies must be able to step out of their previously used model to embrace a new method of developing technologies and encouraging innovation.

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