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Will Roper: US Military Should Invest in Ideas to Win Innovation Battle Against China

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Will Roper
Will Roper

Will Roper, assistant secretary of the Air Force for acquisition, technology and logistics and a 2019 Wash100 Award recipient, said the U.S. military should entice the country’s venture capitalists to invest in novel defense technologies in order to keep ahead of China and “win the innovation battle,” Breaking Defense reported Thursday.

“Again, this is about innovation as a battlefield. Capital is a part of it. Companies that can’t get capital from us fast enough will find foreign investments that they gotta take to keep from going under,” he told reporters Wednesday at the Air Force Space Pitch Days in San Francisco.

Roper said the Department of Defense needs to reform its acquisition model to better engage the private sector and compete with China, which is ramping up investments in U.S. tech startups.

“It’s not enough to develop and procure systems anymore. We’ve got to get in the business of of buying ideas and generating ideas,” he added.

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