Procuring Innovative Cybersecurity Technologies
One way for the government to procure the most advanced cybersecurity technologies is to invest in promising start-up companies that have the potential to develop products meeting the needs of intelligence agencies. The Central Intelligence Agency began that innovative procurement strategy in 1999 by establishing In-Q-Tel, a private, non-profit venture capital company.
According to The Washington Post, since In-Q-Tel began operations the firm has "invested in about 90 companies, and for its current fiscal year it has a $60 million budget." According to officials with the venture capital company, "about 70 percent of the companies they have invested in are doing business with intelligence agencies within a year of the investment."
In a sign that In-Q-Tel has matured from a novel idea to an established part of the venture capital community, the company has hired a new CEO to replace their founding Chief Executive. Among the new CEO's priorities are to continue expanding the relations In-Q-Tel has with various federal agencies. As the new CEO explained, "We're at this historic point where the intelligence community is going through a transformation, and technology can represent the greatest threat or the greatest opportunity."
In-Q-Tel is an important example of how the government can use the competitive process to harness the unique creative capabilities of the private sector to serve the public interest.
Click for The Washington Post article