Eric Schmidt, executive chairman of Alphabet — the parent company of Google — has been picked by Pentagon to head a new advisory board on defence innovation. Pentagon press secretary Peter Cook announced on Wednesday in Washington DC that Defence Secretary Ash Carter met Schmidt during the annual RSA Security Conference in San Francisco, Xinhua reported. Schmidt will be the chairman of the first Department of Defense Innovation Advisory Board and will work with Carter to select up to 12 members of the board.
The initiative is an effort to tap innovators from the private sector in Silicon Valley and beyond, and board members will “represent a cross-section of America’s most innovative industries, drawing on technical and management expertise from Silicon Valley”, Cook said in a statement.
While tasking the board to identify and adopt new technology concepts, the Pentagon spokesman said Schmidt has “a unique perspective on the latest practices in harnessing and encouraging innovation and in the importance of technology in driving organisational behaviour and business operations”.
The Pentagon expected the board to advise on areas that are 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 organisational information sharing, Cook said.