On December 1, 2022, Department of Defense (DoD) Secretary Lloyd J. Austin III announced the establishment of the DoD Office of Strategic Capital (OSC). The mission statement of the OSC is to build an “enduring technical advantage” for the United States by helping partner contractors with private investment to develop national security critical technologies, including those related to advanced materials, next-generation biotechnology, and quantum science. OSC will coordinate with existing organizations such as the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) and the Defense Innovation Unit (DIU), which promotes acceleration of the military use of commercial technologies.
The OSC intends to offer what it characterizes as “patient” extended-term capital to help contractors obtain financing between the early laboratory-testing and prototyping phases and the full-scale development of products that can be used by the DoD warfighter. In addition to traditional vehicles like contracts and grants, this investment will likely take the form of loans and loan guarantees.