Kathleen Hicks, deputy secretary of the Department of Defense and a 2021 Wash100 Award winner, said DOD is committed to looking at the administration barriers facing small companies seeking to do business with the Pentagon and will initiate measures to address those challenges where it can, DOD News reported Wednesday.
"To do that effectively, we need your engagement," Hicks said Wednesday. "This week, we are putting out a notice in the Federal Register seeking industry input on the barriers you face.”
She said industry feedback will be incorporated into the department’s small business strategy that she plans to unveil before the end of 2021. She also announced the establishment of a DOD innovation steering group and mentioned the department’s efforts to further strengthen its small business programs to facilitate their entry into the defense marketplace.
The deputy secretary noted that the Pentagon has 95 procurement technical assistance centers that help businesses compete for contracts with the department and other federal agencies.
"And we will continue to leverage programs like Small Business Innovation Research which, on average, commercializes $7 billion of small business innovations that are connected directly to our warfighting capabilities," Hicks said.
She also cited that DOD is collaborating with the White House, Small Business Administration and other agencies to generate more opportunities for small companies to secure spots on the department’s contract vehicles.