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There are two issues the Defense Department (DoD) will need to address on the path to innovation: intellectual property and security. That’s according to Jerry McGinn, executive director of the Center for Government Contracting at George Mason University.

  • McGinn, former principal deputy director for manufacturing and industrial base policy in the Office of the Secretary of Defense, said DoD should keep working to address challenges in intellectual property, the “lifeblood of innovation” and a critical factor for defense.
  • Defense contractors may be hesitant to give up intellectual property protection if the government requests unlimited rights, which could hinder innovation, said McGinn; on the security side, espionage that compromises proprietary information could reduce military advantage.
  • McGinn said he recommends government and industry look for mutually beneficial licensing rights and prioritize transparency.
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