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There’s never been a better time to do business with the federal government for technology companies. And that’s especially true for those that specialize in artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning (ML).

Case in point: The National Security Commission on Artificial Intelligence last year recommended doubling federal nondefense funding for AI research and development to reach $32 billion annually by 2026.

"This artificial intelligence journey is going to be decades long. The transformation that can come from AI—the efficiencies, effectiveness, speed, scale and accuracy—are dreams that we all share as Americans."

Cukor spoke earlier this year at the annual Government Contracting & Technology Symposium on the future of AI.

As the U.S. races to maintain its advantages in the digital arena—and in particular, on the digital battlefield—AI contractors should be aware of opportunities within the federal government contracting landscape. Here are some considerations for AI and ML organizations looking to work with government agencies.

The key player in experimental/security tech

The federal government is looking for technology that provides a national security or a military advantage. In many cases, the government will enter contracts with tech providers and fund the development of an AI/ML product even before a prototype is ready. Sometimes, the research begins without a clearly defined outcome or product in mind.

"It’s going to take private industry to make the U.S. military’s efforts a success. The government often studies an issue broadly then writes a broad requirement statement. From there, they need the industry to come and pitch their ideas—and hopefully some will bring the military’s goals across the finish line."

Break through as an innovator

AI and ML organizations are positioned to deliver high-performance solutions to advance missions in defense and intelligence areas. The most successful government contractors in AI and ML can create repeatable solutions that the government can use to modernize old systems and practices.

Our AI Research program explores and advances cutting-edge research in the fields of AI, ML and related fields. Learn more about some of our unique initiatives to provide financial synthetic databases, research explainability and fairness, and learn from global AI experts.

Shield AI has gone from a startup to a company that’s changing the conversation around funding defense tech. Founded by former Navy SEAL Brandon Tseng and tech entrepreneur Ryan Tseng, the company creates software and hardware for military and government drones and other autonomous aircrafts. Shield AI is just one company that’s driving innovation for the public’s benefit.

Take advantage of set-aside contracts early

The federal government designates a significant portion of its annual spending to contracts and subcontracts with businesses owned by veterans—with specific funds set aside for service-disabled veteran-owned small businesses (SDVOSBs). 

Since many military-focused technology businesses are owned and operated by veterans, these programs offer veteran-owned businesses bidding priority on competitive awards. But these programs, soon to be run through the U.S. Small Business Administration, carry specific eligibility requirements and size thresholds.

Once a tech company grows large enough, the next challenge is often diversifying revenue streams so that companies can grow beyond these small-business initiatives.

We’re committed to honoring those who have served and supporting their long-term personal success and financial confidence. J.P. Morgan sponsors Bunker Labs’ CEOcircle, which gives military-connected companies access to growth-stage resources, monthly peer-to-peer networking opportunities and one-on-one mentorship sessions with our experts.

We’re here to help

Not only do we serve early-stage tech companies, but also the key businesses and organizations that leverage AI. We can build connections between clients to help them scale and stay competitive. Contact our Aerospace, Defense & Government Services team to speak with a specialist or learn about an upcoming government contractor event.