With the increasing democratization of technology, Deputy Director of CIA Science and Technology Dawn Meyerriecks said that intelligence integration and freeing up intellectual property (IP) are of mounting importance to innovating solutions that bolster national security.

Meyerriecks, who spoke at GDIT Emerge today, said that given the government’s decrease in research and development funding and the private sector’s rising role in innovating technological solutions, working together to unlock IP, as well as with venture partners to push production, is key.

“I’m here to tell you that because technology has been democratized largely, that I would be very open to having conversations about freeing IP up to get it into production if it benefits the economy because that benefits national security,” Meyerriecks said. “Continuing to look to us to bring all of that great technology from the bench to production, … it’s not going to change.”

On the research and development end, Meyerriecks highlighted that the CIA works with the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency and the Intelligence Advanced Research Projects Activity and that companies should also collaborate with them as the first step to address national security technology challenges.

From there, working through the innovation venture fund In-Q-Tel is next to help give the intelligence community access to more emerging technology that it can’t fully fund.

“Why aren’t we talking with more PCs or equity firms about freeing IP and getting it into production?” Meyerriecks said. “We’ve got to explore these kinds of models. This is real innovation on behalf of the nation.”

Although Meyerriecks added that the government still has its own role in funding and producing its own projects and initiatives, but she said that these collaborative steps are needed for the intelligence community to continue technologically improving and responsibly spending taxpayer dollars.

“The IP is eyewatering, and that’s the stuff we’ve got to figure out how to put into production,” she said.

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Kate Polit
Kate Polit
Kate Polit is MeriTalk's Assistant Copy & Production Editor covering the intersection of government and technology.