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Vice Adm. Robert Sharp on NGA’s Strategy, Interaction With Startups

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Vice Adm. Robert Sharp, director of the National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency and a 2019 Wash100 Award recipient, told C4ISRNET in an interview published Wednesday about adopting his predecessor’s NGA strategy, which focuses on people, partnerships, mission today and mission tomorrow. Sharp discussed how NGA leverages commercial sources and international partners and how the agency works with GEOINT startups.

“We need to be able to help them to demystify the process they know and look for ways that we can interact with smaller companies so that they can get involved in bringing solutions to bare,” he said. “We’ve done so successfully in a number of ways where we’ve even leveraged some of the larger companies where they broker for us, making sure that these smaller companies understand some of the challenges that we have and then reward them and those other companies help them through the contracting and some of the bureaucracy associated with U.S. government.”

He shared his insights on three commercial study contracts the National Reconnaissance Office awarded in June to evaluate companies’ capability to provide imagery to NGA and how Esri’s slogan “see what others can’t” applies to the agency’s work. Sharp also discussed how NGA addresses issues with its civilian workforce through “people summits.”

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