Pentagon small business chief presses to revive innovation fund

WASHINGTON ― The Biden administration’s next budget request needs to revive a special fund to help small businesses with innovative ideas work with the Pentagon, a top department official said Tuesday.

The push to bring back the Rapid Innovation Fund, which Congress hasn’t financed since 2019, was one of several recent moves aimed at lowering barriers for small businesses detailed by the director of the Pentagon’s Office of Small Business Programs, Farooq Mitha.

At a virtual event hosted by the National Defense Industrial Association, Mitha said he’s spearheading efforts to consolidate management of the Pentagon’s many small-business programs, which can confound business owners with their different operating styles, funding streams and points of contact.

“One of the first things that I saw when I came into this job was that our small business programs and activities were dispersed all across…

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