Will Roper, assistant secretary of the U.S. Air Force for acquisition, technology and logistics, told Wired in an interview published on Sunday about the service’s upcoming pitch day in New York and how it plans to set up contracts for startups within a day through credit card-based awards. “We’re going to start doing awards at $158,000 per transaction,” said Roper, a 2019 Wash100 winner.
He noted that the military branch was able to award 104 contracts within 40 hours to companies during a series of practice trials of its credit card-based transaction process.
“The resounding feedback we’ve gotten from the small companies is that it’s so much better for them to be able to tell investors and stakeholders that they’re going to have consistent cash flow over time,” he added.
Roper said he expects to see technology firms that could help the service perform work across several areas such as software development and upgrades, additive manufacturing and predictive maintenance. He also discussed the service’s work on hypersonic weapons as well as artificial intelligence and shared his views on the new Space Force.
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