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Pentagon to Establish Defense Innovation Advisory Board

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In an effort to enhance the Defense Department’s culture, organization and processes by tapping innovators from the private sector in Silicon Valley and beyond, Defense Secretary Ash Carter announced plans today to establish a Defense Innovation Advisory Board, Pentagon Press Secretary Peter Cook said.

The initiative represents the secretary’s enduring commitment to building lasting partnerships between the public and private sectors, Cook said in a statement.

“Just as the Defense Business Board provides advice to the department on best business practices from the private sector, the Defense Innovation Advisory Board will provide advice on the best and latest practices in innovation that the department can emulate,” Cook added.

The board’s mandate is to provide department leaders independent advice on innovative and adaptive means to address future organizational and cultural challenges, the press secretary said, including the use of technology alternatives, streamlined project management processes and approaches -- all with the goal of identifying quick solutions to DoD problems.

Areas Deeply Familiar in Silicon Valley

The board will seek to advise the department on areas that are deeply familiar to Silicon Valley companies, such as rapid prototyping, iterative product development, complex data analysis in business decision making, the use of mobile and cloud applications, and organizational information sharing, Cook said, and will not engage in discussion of military operations or strategy.

Alphabet Executive Chairman Eric Schmidt will chair the board, which will be composed of up to 12 people who have successfully led large private and public organizations and excelled at identifying and adopting new technology concepts, Cook said.

Carter and Schmidt will jointly select the board, Cook said. “Members will represent a cross-section of America’s most innovative industries, drawing on technical and management expertise from Silicon Valley and beyond,” he added.

As chairman of Alphabet and as the author of “How Google Works,” Schmidt has a unique perspective on the latest practices in harnessing and encouraging innovation and in the importance of technology in driving organizational behavior and business operations, Cook said.

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