Austin Has the Right Mix of Academia, Industry, Entrepreneurial Hubs, Army Says

Austin Has the Right Mix of Academia, Industry, Entrepreneurial Hubs, Army Says

The Army’s formal announcement Friday that the headquarters for its new Futures Command will be located in Austin, Texas, followed a months-long review of candidates and a focus on criteria measuring each site’s proximity to science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) workers and industries; proximity to private sector innovation; academic STEM and R&D investment; quality of life; cost; and civic support. Officials also looked more broadly to envision “how each city ecosystem would support our modernization efforts and priorities vertically from concept to capability to solution,” Undersecretary Ryan McCarthy told reporters. “We do not have time to build this ecosystem; it needs to be ready immediately,” he said, reported Defense News.

In response to a question about whether the academic and entrepreneurial community would embrace an organization with a vastly different culture, McCarthy said there has been an “overwhelming level of support” and a desire for the Army to be there from each of the five finalists. “I can’t emphasize that enough,” he said.

Futures Command, which began operations on July 1, is scheduled to reach full operational capability in summer 2019. Sub-organizations, many of which currently reside within Training and Doctrine Command and Army Materiel Command, will transition to the new organization in the coming months; the Army has no plan to physically move units or personnel from these commands, however. “This is not about moving lots of people from other commands,” McCarthy said, according to a press release. Watch the Army’s video announcing its decision.

Army photo by Sean Kimmons

Dan Cohen
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