— Mature entrepreneurial incubator hubs for access to talent, ideas and collaboration;
— Space and access to top-tier university science and engineering departments for collaboration on experiments, prototype concepts and systems;
— Expandability of work space for other services and companies to join the effort;
The undersecretary said the type of urban ecosystem defined by the selection criteria is where innovation, networking and collaboration are happening daily.
“That ecosystem cannot be duplicated from behind the walls of traditional posts and forts,” he said, adding that recognition of that concept is a radical change for the Army’s culture.
The selection criteria evaluation process included use of an outside firm, validated with the Army’s internal studies and analysis, as well as a federally-funded research and development center, he said.
A six-member team is en route to Austin to begin establishing initial operating capability at Army Futures Command, McCarthy said. Within a year, full operating capability will be achieved, he said, with a headquarters staff of about 500.
McCarthy said that doesn’t mean all 500 will be working out of a downtown office. He said that as full operating capability is achieved over the coming year, he envisions teams of soldiers and Army civilians working out of technology “incubator hubs” alongside entrepreneurs, scientists and researchers.