Barbara Humpton, president and CEO of Siemens Government Technologies, Inc., has spent her 30-plus-year career supporting a variety of federal government customers. She shared some of her insight with WashingtonExec on trends, challenges and opportunities for the federal government, and in turn, for industry.
“The challenges facing our government are increasingly complex and costly,” Humpton said, more so than ever before. And it is expected to address them in an unpredictable budget environment, “fraught with continuing resolutions, debt ceilings and the ever-looming prospect of sequestration.”
There is some good news, however.
“There appears to be a national consensus on the need to bring our country’s infrastructure into the 21st century, and also leapfrogging into the next generation,” she said, and that’s where industry can help.
Siemens, for example, recently developed a record-breaking motor for electric and hybrid propulsion for both manned and unmanned aerial systems. Their combined heat and power systems capture the otherwise wasted energy from the process of producing electricity through combustion. And on the horizon?
“Now that our country is getting closer to energy independence, we must focus on becoming more energy secure and resilient,” Humpton said.
While the government “clearly recognizes the challenges it faces in adopting the latest private sector technologies,” Humpton said, “we are seeing encouraging signs.” Agencies like the Defense Department and the Federal Aviation Administration are working to empower industry in the introduction of new technologies. New approaches to financing public-private partnerships, like Energy Savings Performance Contracts, and more commercial (off-the-shelf) procurement, help the government get what it needs faster and more cost effectively than before.
The government is ready to get up to speed.
“How can industry help?” Humpton said. “By being a partner with innovative ideas, common goals and a long-term focus, by providing the best technologies, solutions and know-how, and in the case of public-private partnerships, some of the best financing available.”