Panel On: The Cambridge Connection

by MIT Sloan Global Security Technology Club

Club Defense Tech

Fri, Apr 23, 2021

12:30 PM – 1:30 PM EDT (GMT-4)

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MIT's long history as a incubator for defense technology has turned Cambridge, Boston, and the surrounding area into one of the industry's most vibrant locations for research, development, and business. Join our panelists for a discussion on the history, current ventures, and future endeavors that are thriving in our own backyard.


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Bernadette Johnson

Chief Technology Ventures Officer

Lincoln Labs

Dr. Bernadette Johnson is the Chief Technology Ventures Officer at MIT Lincoln Laboratory. The Technology Ventures Office was established in 2018 to support access to and development of commercial technologies relevant to national security. Prior to this appointment, she was the Chief Science Officer (CSO) at Defense Innovation Unit Experimental (DIUx), which focuses on accelerating commercial innovation for the Department of Defense.  As CSO, her primary responsibilities were to provide strategic guidance on emergent technologies and support development of a technical workforce. 

Prior to joining DIUx in August 2016, Dr. Johnson was the Chief Technology Officer (CTO) at MIT Lincoln Laboratory. Her responsibilities included the development of the Laboratory's long-term technology strategy and the coordination of collaborative research with MIT campus.  Before being appointed to CTO, Dr. Johnson was the Assistant Head of the Homeland Protection and Tactical Systems Division. Throughout her career, she has been involved in a number of programs related to laser-based propagation and sensing, adaptive optics, active hyperspectral imaging, and laser-induced-breakdown spectroscopy. In 1999, she became the founding Leader of the Biodefense Systems Group. Her technical foci were in military and civilian chemical and biological defense and forensics sensing, and in 2009 she led a study to develop a strategic plan for bioscience research at Lincoln Laboratory. She was and remains actively involved in technology innovation initiatives.

Dr. Johnson is a 2007 recipient of the Lincoln Laboratory Technical Excellence Award for her system-level architecting, technical innovation, and prototype demonstration. She holds a BS degree in physics from Dickinson College, an MS degree in condensed matter theory from Georgetown University, and a PhD degree in plasma physics from Dartmouth College.  She attended the Harvard Kennedy School’s Senior Executives in National and International Security Program in 2015 and has served as a member of the Naval Studies Board since 2012.

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Fiona Murray

Fiona Murray is the Associate Dean for Innovation and Inclusion at the MIT Sloan School of Management, the William Porter (1967) Professor of Entrepreneurship, and an associate of the National Bureau of Economic Research. She is also the co-director of MIT’s Innovation Initiative.  

She serves on the British Prime Minister’s Council on Science and Technology and has been awarded a CBE for her services to innovation and entrepreneurship in the UK.

Murray is an international expert on the transformation of investments in scientific and technical innovation into innovation-based entrepreneurship that drives jobs, wealth creation, and regional prosperity. She has a special interest in the commercialization of science from idea to impact and the mechanisms that can be effectively used to link universities with entrepreneurs, large corporations, and philanthropists in that process. 

Through her leadership role in the MIT Regional Entrepreneurship Acceleration Program, Murray engages many global regions in designing and evaluating the policies and programs that shape vibrant innovation ecosystems: prizes competitions, accelerators, and proof of concept funding programs. She is particularly interested in new organizational arrangements for the effective commercialization of science, including public-private partnerships and patient capital/venture philanthropy.

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Phil Budden

Phil Budden is a Senior Lecturer at MIT's Management School, in Sloan's TIES (Technological Innovation, Entrepreneurship and Strategic-management) Group, where he focuses on 'innovation-driven entrepreneurship' (IDE) and innovation ecosystems.

Phil's approach combines academic, historical and real-world perspectives on how different stakeholders - including Entrepreneurs, Universities and 'Risk Capital' providers, alongside Corporate enterprises and Government policymakers - can all contribute to building successful innovation ecosystems.  Phil is currently on leave from the British Government, and joins MIT having worked recently in Boston's private sector for the Royal Bank of Scotland's US subsidiary, Citizens Bank, where he focused on financing transatlantic (especially British-American) trade and investment. His background as a diplomat makes him well-suited to the 'global innovation' of REAP/REAL, the interplay among the REAP teams, and the negotiations within the 'innovation ecosystems' (especially between Corporate and Government stakeholders).

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