The United States Space Force and Embedded Ventures, which is a venture capital business that invests in space entrepreneurs, have struck a collaboration agreement, according to the company, which was disclosed on October 13. As part of the Cooperative Research and Development Agreement, (CRADA,) Embedded Ventures is going to collaborate on research and development projects with SpaceWERX, which is a new Space Force agency established to foster collaboration with commercial sector and startups. The specifics of the deal, as well as its duration, were not disclosed.
A news release from the firm stated that “the parties would collectively study the potential benefits of utilizing VC investing strategies to expedite the pace of change and innovation.” “They will also look at the business links between the United States Space Force and industry in order to determine future means of investment into the VC ecosystem.”
This is the first time the Space Force has collaborated with a venture capital business. The CRADA “allows the two organizations to cooperate on research and development initiatives that promote the growth of the United States space sector in order to plan for the potential of an increased space economy as well as the defense of United States interests,” according to the business.
Embedded Ventures, situated in Los Angeles, was launched in November 2020 by Jenna Bryant, a software entrepreneur, and Jordan Noone, a co-founder of the Relativity Space, who together formed the company. Even though the firm has not disclosed which specific space ventures it is funding, the firm has stated that it is investing in companies in space infrastructure sector that are creating dual-use innovations for commercial and government applications, such as in-space communications as well as logistics systems, life extension vehicles, and the resource extraction.
In a statement, Lt. Col. Walter “Rock” McMillan, head of SpaceWERX, said, “We are excited to formalize this arrangement with Embedded Ventures, which will enable us to create a highly collaborative and effective workflow between our two divisions while maintaining accountability for everyone.”
As an operating partner at the Embedded Ventures company, Mandy Vaughn, who works as a former president of Virgin Orbit’s VOX Space, played a role in putting together the partnership deal. According to her, “Space is fundamentally different in that it incorporates commercial business as an important part of any space capacity.” According to Vaughn, changes in government procurement culture are needed for the government to be able to take advantage of emerging technology and services from commercial space sector.