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Department of Defense

FYI focuses on DOD’s basic research (6.1), applied research (6.2), and advanced technology development (6.3) activities. FYI also covers DOD’s overall R&D strategy.


8 Apr 2020

The Department of Defense is seeking a marginal decrease in its Research, Development, Test, and Evaluation budget, which is currently at a record-high level of $109 billion. Prioritizing work on near-term technologies, the department proposes a 13% cut for its early-stage Science and Technology accounts.

5 Feb 2020

The budget for the Defense Department’s Research, Development, Test, and Evaluation activities is continuing to rise dramatically in fiscal year 2020, with a focus on late-stage prototyping and testing. Funding for earlier-stage R&D accounts is rising by 1% to $16.1 billion.

20 Dec 2019

This year's National Defense Authorization Act includes numerous provisions bearing on science and technology policy, including ones establishing a Space Force, creating a Climate Security Advisory Council, and directing the Defense Department’s research security efforts.

15 Nov 2019

A new National Academies study will consider the challenges the U.S. is facing in maintaining its global leadership position in science and technology. It will encompass such matters as protecting research from exploitation, managing international exchanges, and promoting domestic technology commercialization.

9 Oct 2019

Funding for the Department of Defense’s latter-stage R&D programs is set to continue surging past already historic highs under the House and Senate’s proposals for fiscal year 2020, though they would also pare back some earlier-stage research programs.

13 Aug 2019

The House and Senate have completed work on their respective versions of the annual legislation that updates U.S. defense policy. The bills include numerous proposals related to DOD’s research laboratories, innovation policy, nuclear weapons, research security, and climate change, among other areas.

19 Jun 2019

Lawmakers are pushing the Defense Department to consider projections of climate change and extreme weather impacts in its facility planning decisions, contrasting the Trump administration’s efforts to cast doubt on expected risks.  


13 Jun 2019

The Department of Energy has issued a directive prohibiting its employees and most contractor personnel from participating in certain talent recruitment programs operated by rival nations. The new policy is one of several actions federal agencies are taking in response to alleged exploitation of the U.S. research environment by foreign governments, particularly China.

26 Apr 2019

The U.S. Air Force released a long-awaited strategy for its science and technology programs last week, outlining plans for reorienting investments toward developing “transformational” capabilities and better drawing on external talent.

28 Mar 2019

The Department of Defense’s RDT&E budget would continue a rapid rise beyond an already historic high under President Trump’s budget request for fiscal year 2020, though recent increases provided to basic and applied research programs would be rolled back.