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You are cordially invited to attend a lecture on the topic of

How to Address the Innovation Adoption Problem in Defense?


Mr. Mikolaj Firlej
Lecturer in AI and Regulation at the Surrey Institute for People-Centred AI and School of Law, University of Surrey


Monday, October 24, 2022
5:00-6:00 PM EDT


The Institute of World Politics
1521 16th St. NW
Washington D.C. 20036
Marlatt Mansion, Commodore Barry Room
Getting to campus

This lecture is part of the Kosciuszko Chair/Center for Intermarium Studies Lecture Series.


About the Lecture

In the past, emerging and disruptive technologies were often created by the Government and their benefits were largely controlled by the Government. Over the last few decades, the Government lost the ability to control the development and spread of innovative technologies, so the key focus has become on getting access to these innovations. The defense industry has been a slow adopter of new technologies, particularly in Europe. Further, the established ways of innovating the defense industry, such as the reliance on foreign investment and prime contractors are increasingly less suitable in the modern world. Recently, NATO has launched a new Innovation Fund and DIANA accelerator program to stimulate public-private collaboration in the defense industry. They model their fund after IQT, a CIA venture capital fund established in 1999. Yet, the US has a mixed recent history of attracting innovators for defense purposes. The Pentagon is working to update its procurement law to stimulate small technology companies to work on defense projects, yet venture capital investors are reluctant to support companies with a defense focus. How to address the innovation adoption problem? What are the key obstacles in the US and what are the lessons for the wider NATO Alliance? What are the successful case studies and what were the key drivers of success?

About the Speaker

Mr. Mikolaj Firlej is a Lecturer in AI and Regulation at the Surrey Institute for People-Centred AI and School of Law, University of Surrey. He is also a Research Affiliate at the Faculty of Law, University of Oxford. Mikolaj’s research focuses on providing a deeper understanding of the role of human factors in the increasingly algorithmic decision-making across various sectors. Specifically, he focuses on the operationalization of the emerging legal principle of meaningful human control over the use of autonomous systems, typology of standards applicable to AI systems, and legal issues of privacy-preserving technologies. Mikolaj graduated from the University of Oxford and Warsaw with degrees in law, socio-legal studies, public policy, and philosophy.

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