San Diego skyline

Originally published on GSA’s blog.

On March 18, the U.S. General Services Administration (GSA) will co-host the San Diego Summit on Emerging Digital Technology and Government as part of our work to bring new, emerging technology to the federal government. It will be a day of sharing what we’re doing to build effective digital solutions, listening to perspectives on the challenges of doing business with government, and offering training on how to sell to and buy from the federal government. We invite you to attend if you are a newer product company and would like to do business with the federal government (or if you work with GSA or the federal government already).

We want to create an open dialogue between federal government policy makers, the technology industry, and academia — because bringing new technology to the federal government isn’t just a case of getting the latest product. Identifying our technology needs requires collaboration between designers and users, technologists and contracting officers, and the government and the public. We must bring together the agency and the entrepreneur, identify problems, and discover ways to use technology to solve them.

We know that we, the federal government, have a problem being understandable — we have sometimes Byzantine processes written in our own language. Small businesses and start-ups don’t have the time to decode the government’s processes and complex regulatory requirements.

To help address this issue, we’re bringing together agencies, Congress, academia, and the technology sector. At events like this summit, we can help small businesses and start-ups understand how to sell to government and facilitate a dialogue between federal government policy makers, customers, industry partners, and academia.

We’ve made strides in improving relationships by eliminating outdated contracting requirements and reducing the difficulty of navigating the contracting process but much more work remains. By developing relationships with entrepreneurs, we can realize GSA’s vision of being an economic catalyst and bring much needed agile and user-centric improvements to the federal government.