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The Pentagon is one of the largest technology customers in the world, purchasing everything from F-35 planes (roughly $90 million each) to cloud services (the JEDI contract was $10 billion). Despite outlaying hundreds of billions of dollars for acquisitions though, the Defense Department has struggled to push nascent technologies from startups through its punishing procurement process.
The department launched the Defense Innovation Unit a few years back as a way to connect startups into the defense world. Now, the military has decided to work even earlier to ensure that the next generation of startups can equip the military with the latest technology.
Cambridge - MIT - US - Air - Force
Cambridge, MA-based MIT and the U.S. Air Force announced today that they are teaming up to launch a new accelerator focused on artificial intelligence applications, with the Air Force committed to investing $15 million into roughly ten MIT research projects per year. The accelerator will be called the MIT-Air Force AI Accelerator (clearly, the Pentagon hasn’t gotten better at naming things).
The accelerator will be housed on campus at MIT’s new computing college, which received a $1 billion commitment last year, including $350 million from Stephen A. Schwarzman. The college is expected to officially launch later this fall.
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