Lockheed Martin announced it plans to raise its venture capital fund by $100 million, doubling its strategy of investing in “early-stage companies” involved in autonomy and advanced manufacturing. It will make a total of $200 million in capital and R&D investments this year.
"Our focus is on finding and investing in companies developing cutting-edge technologies that will grow our business and disrupt our industry," stated Chris Moran, vice president and general manager of Lockheed Martin Ventures.
Martin added that Lockheed’s experience working with federal government buyers helps it to guide start-up firms "navigate through the early stages of product development".
According to Lockheed, its increase in venture capital funding is drawn in part from $460 million it has saved due to recent federal tax reform.
Lockheed’s recent investments in early-stage companies have been focused on sensor technologies, autonomy, artificial intelligence, and cyber technology. As an example, it cited nTopology, a recent Lockheed investment and creator of ELEMENT, a CAD software used in additive and advanced manufacturing.
"Our investment in nTopology will bring strategic advantages in Lockheed Martin's computational design processes and help shorten the periods between the design and manufacturing phase," according to Moran.
In addition to its capital investments this year, Lockheed plans to invest $100 million in employee training over the next five years, and $50 million in science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) education, including establishing a Lockheed Martin STEM Scholarship Fund.