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Air Force Updates Investment Strategy for Small Business Contractors; Lt. Gen. Duke Richardson Quoted

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Lt. Gen. Duke Richardson
Lt. Gen. Duke Richardson US Air Force

The U.S Air Force is modifying its innovation strategy to focus more on breaking down barriers for small businesses that are new to working with government customers, National Defense Magazine reported Thursday.

Lt. Gen. Duke Richardson, military deputy for the office of the assistant Air Force secretary for acquisition, technology and logistics, said at an Air Force Association event that the service branch recently awarded a number of first-time contractors for the Small Business Innovation Research program.

“We’re really trying to expand partnerships with companies and research institutions that don’t normally do work with the government,” he noted.

“If you look at some of our [Small Business Innovation Research] awards, we’re definitely hitting a lot of small businesses that have never received SBIR contracts in the past,” Richardson added.

Gen. Charles “CQ” Brown, chief of staff at the Air Force, said at a Defense One event that the service intends to utilize its AFVentures innovation unit to meet future program goals.

“What we’re trying to do with AFVentures is create really simple pathways for commercial innovators and private investors to meet warfighter needs and also to meet their own needs,” he said.