Today, United States Secretary of Defense Ash Carter announced plans to establish a Defense Innovation Advisory Board made up of about a dozen technology leaders from Silicon Valley and beyond. Representing “Secretary Carter’s enduring commitment to building lasting partnerships between the public and private sectors,” the board “will provide advice on the best and latest practices in innovation that the department can emulate.”

And who better to lead such a group than Alphabet Chairman and ex-CEO of Google Eric Schmidt?

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“The Defense Innovation Advisory Board will seek to advise the department on areas that are deeply familiar to Silicon Valley companies,” the Pentagon said. This includes things like “rapid prototyping, iterative product development, complex data analysis in business decision making, the use of mobile and cloud applications, and organizational information sharing.” The Pentagon says, however, that the board will not discuss military-related topics.

While the other individuals haven’t been decided (or at least disclosed) yet, the Pentagon says that the infamous Executive Chairman at Alphabet Eric Schmidt will be charing the board. Members of the board will be “selected jointly” by Eric Schmidt and Defense Secretary Ash Carter, and they will “represent a cross-section of America’s most innovative industries,” according to the press release.

Schmidt has been known to be very open about his thoughts on various topics in tech, saying last year that Google’s biggest search competitor is Amazon, Google Glass is simply too important to scrap, and that Alphabet is set to have more than 26 companies. Just a few months ago, it was revealed that Schmidt was the reason that Raspberry Pi’s latest mini-computer is just $5, and in January Schmidt was quoted saying that artificial intelligence will one day solve the world’s problems.

Read the PR in full below:

Today, Secretary of Defense Ash Carter announced plans to establish a Defense Innovation Advisory Board. The new board is an effort to enhance DoD’s culture, organization and processes by tapping innovators from the private sector, in Silicon Valley and beyond. It represents Secretary Carter’s enduring commitment to building lasting partnerships between the public and private sectors.

Just as the Defense Business Board provides advice to the department on best business practices from the private sector, the Defense Innovation Advisory Board will provide advice on the best and latest practices in innovation that the department can emulate.

The board’s mandate is to provide department leaders independent advice on innovative and adaptive means to address future organizational and cultural challenges, including the use of technology alternatives, streamlined project management processes and approaches – all with the goal of identifying quick solutions to DoD problems.

The Defense Innovation Advisory Board will seek to advise the department on areas that are deeply familiar to Silicon Valley companies, such as rapid prototyping, iterative product development, complex data analysis in business decision making, the use of mobile and cloud applications, and organizational information sharing.

The board will not engage in discussion of military operations or strategy.

The board will be chaired by Alphabet Executive Chairman Eric Schmidt. It will be comprised of up to 12 individuals who have successfully led large private and public organizations, and excelled at identifying and adopting new technology concepts. Members will be selected jointly by Secretary Carter and Dr. Schmidt. Members will represent a cross-section of America’s most innovative industries, drawing on technical and management expertise from Silicon Valley and beyond.

As chairman of Alphabet, and as the author of “How Google Works,” Schmidt has a unique perspective on the latest practices in harnessing and encouraging innovation, and the importance of technology in driving organizational behavior and business operations.

 

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