智邦头条:面对疫情,美加大对防务供应链和硅谷科创企业支持

据defensenews网2020年3月27日报道,面对疫情影响和中小企业资金短缺、项目拖延,美军方加大对低层次防务供应链关注和硅谷科创企业支持,主要军工企业加大对配套中小企业经费资助。

美国防部关注小企业防务供应链薄弱环节

截止3月20日,美国防工业协会对458家小防务承包商问卷调查显示,其中55%年收入不到500万美元,70%员工50人以下,都是小企业。62%面临现金流断链倒闭,54%完不成合同,到4月10日都得停工;其中62%因经济衰退导致现金流中断;54%表示因疫情影响合同项目无法进行。3月25日,国防部采办与保障副部长艾伦•洛德表示,将密切关注脆弱的低层次防务供应链情况。

Small defense businesses seeing cash issues during coronavirus outbreak

WASHINGTON — Over 60 percent of small companies in the defense supply chain are seeing disrupted cash flow, according to a new survey put forth from the National Defense Industrial Association.

“This survey shows how the defense lifeline runs through small business,” Hawk Carlisle, NDIA’s president and CEO, said in a statement. “These companies must survive if the defense industrial base is to remain the best in the world on other side of COVID-19.”

As of Friday, 458 small businesses had responded to the survey, which will remain open through April 10. Fifty-five percent of respondents have less than $5 million in annual revenue, and 70 percent have less than 50 employees.

Sixty-two percent of the respondents have seen disrupted cash flow as a result of the economic downturn. Primarily, those have come as cuts to billable hours or delayed payments from prime contractors because of shutdowns or telework. A lack of telework options is also an issue for the contractors.

Notably, 54 percent of respondents say they cannot work on a contract because they are currently under a shelter-in-place order.

And optimistically, 69 percent do not expect cost overruns on fixed-price contracts as a result of the Coronavirus disruptions. Those that do expect such overruns predict them to be in the 10-20 percent range.

The results of the survey were delivered Friday to Ellen Lord, the undersecretary of defense for acquisition and sustainment. Speaking to reporters on Wednesday, Lord said she was watching the lower-tier of the supply chain closely for weak spots that may appear.

Last week, the department announced new measures to increase progress payments out to both small and large companies, in order to ensure companies are able to keep work moving on schedule.

 

洛马公司投资5000万美元支持中小企业

洛马公司宣布:将投资5000万美元资金,预付配套中小企业,支持生态圈维持正常运转。列支650万美元减灾基金,专用确诊感染雇员及退休人员。捐赠1000万美元,主要扶持战“疫”非盈利组织,如老兵和现役军人。

Lockheed offers cash to supply chain, use of private jets for COVID-19 fight

WASHINGTON — Lockheed Martin, the world’s largest defense contractor, announced a series of steps Friday to bolster the defense-industrial base to keep it humming along and to assist in the broader effort against the new coronavirus outbreak.

In a statement posted on Lockheed’s website, CEO Marillyn Hewson said the company recognizes “that the rapid spread of COVID-19 and its wide-ranging impacts have caused severe disruption across society and tragic loss of life around the world. We also recognize that the global pandemic has created a need for urgent action by government, business, communities and citizens.”

“We will do our part to use our know-how, resources, and leadership as a company to assist our communities and our country during this period of national crisis,” Hewson wrote, before laying out a series of moves she called an “initial contribution” to the COVID-19 relief efforts.

The company plans to advance “more than $50 million” to small and medium-sized companies in its supply chain to “ensure they have the financial means to continue to operate, sustain jobs and support the economy.” Pentagon officials and outside experts alike have raised concerns about risk to small companies in the supply chain.

Lockheed is also dipping into a $6.5 million disaster relief fund to assist employees and retirees who are impacted by the disease, and will donate $10 million to nonprofit organizations involved in outbreak relief efforts, with an emphasis on veteran and military family issues.

国防部加速推进硅谷企业科创计划

3月25日,美国防部采办与保障副部长艾伦•洛德对军工企业特别是中小企业是否能继续推进合同项目表示关注,一天后,“国防创新单元”(DIU)在网站发布公告,宣布继续推进相关业务营业,DIU商业开发负责人汤姆•弗洛德西说;“非但没有减速,反而在加速。所有项目资金到位,按计划加速推进。”

Will coronavirus stall DoD’s Silicon Valley outreach efforts?

WASHINGTON — In December, Defense News hosted a roundtable of venture capitalists, startups and Pentagon officials to discuss the challenges surrounding defense-focused companies getting funding from either the department or the VC community.

One theme that emerged: that those involved in defense-focused startups believe they are on the cusp of a time that will either make or break the Department of Defense’s chances of working closely with the tech sector for years to come.

In the words of Mike Madsen, director of strategic engagement at the Pentagon’s commercial tech hub, Defense Innovation Unit: “We’re at a significant inflection point right now that will be visible through the lens of history.”

Or as Katherine Boyle, with VC firm General Catalyst, said, “None of us would be here if we weren’t optimistic… I actually think this is an incredible time to be investing in deep tech, particularly deep-tech companies that are selling to the Department of Defense. Because if it doesn’t happen now, it never will.”

Just three months later, those involved are maintaining that optimism in the wake of the COVID-19 coronavirus pandemic which has sent the global economy into a tailspin.

Speaking to reporters on March 25, Ellen Lord, undersecretary of defense for acquisition and sustainment, acknowledged concerns about “uncertainty, especially with small businesses, as to whether their contracts will continue.” Lord indicated some concern that companies may have trouble receiving funds and turn towards other nations, particularly China.

A day later, DIU posted a notice on its website stressing that is remains open for business and contract awards are expected to keep flowing.

“DIU is not slowing down, we are accelerating,” Tom Foldesi, DIU’s commercial engagement director, told Defense News in a statement. “All of our programs are fully funded and continue to execute on schedule. The stability that government can provide in times of crisis is a bright spot for many companies. DIU will continue to execute all of our initiatives aggressively.”

While DoD funds may continue to move, VC funding is the lifeblood for many of the technology firms that the Pentagon is interested in. Given the sharp economic downturn of the past two weeks, will VC firms still look to invest in companies whose payout from the Pentagon may take significantly longer than the normal turnaround sought by venture capital?