There is a growing sense in Washington that Department of Defense must do something quickly to improve the United States’ technological superiority in the face of new and evolving threats to national security. With continuous cuts to research and development spending and outdated acquisitions process, the Pentagon is now looking to Silicon Valley to establish new, innovative partnership to revitalize defense innovation.

Writing for War on the Rocks, Stephen Rodriguez and Sam Zega offer five rules that DoD should follow closely if it wants to effectively engage nontraditional, private-sector organizations. These include becoming a more agreeable customer for Silicon Valley firms, building on fast contracting programs to avoid lengthy acquisition processes, pushing existing defense contractors to take on some of the responsibility for fostering new relationships, increasing transparency with the DoD’s investment plan, and embracing the idea “fail early, fail often.”