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America’s Frontier Fund and the Quad Investor Network

In July, reported on the launch of America’s Frontier Fund (AFF), which is an extraordinary public/private partnership and non-profit organization dedicated to America’s Great Power competitive advantage through global technology leadership in what some call “deep tech” or “frontier tech.”

The initial Cyberscoop coverage suggested that the fund was dedicated to cybersecurity, but upon further research and analysis, the fund is designed for a much broader portfolio of technology investments.  By all accounts, the AFF is serious business and a refreshing private sector commitment at scale –  with the tech industry heavyweights putting financial resources on the table along with the unique expertise of equally as impressive a roster of government policy experts:

“An investment fund supported by the White House and partially bankrolled by tech heavyweights Peter Thiel, Eric Schmidt, and Craig Newmark is making a big bet that “deep technologies” will give the U.S. the edge over China — especially when it comes to cybersecurity.   In addition to donations from former Schmidt, Palantir co-founder Thiel and Craigslists founder Newmark, AFF’s high-level connections are evident in the national security and industry credentials of its board of directors, which includes former Under Secretary of Defense for Policy Michele Flournoy; Ashton B. Carter, former secretary of defense; former Deputy Director of the National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency Joanne Isham; former IBM CEO Sam Palmisano; and H.R. McMaster, former national security adviser.

As a for-profit investment fund housed within a nonprofit organization, AFF will be uniquely positioned to leverage the assets of a for-profit business while ensuring that the overall organizational mission stays on track and focused on deep tech, its founders say. Thiel, Schmidt, Newmark, and other donors have given money to the nonprofit as opposed to the fund, AFF leaders said.” (1)

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Daniel Pereira

Daniel Pereira

Daniel Pereira is research director at OODA. He is a foresight strategist, creative technologist, and an information communication technology (ICT) and digital media researcher with 20+ years of experience directing public/private partnerships and strategic innovation initiatives.