The National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2021 authorizes major new initiatives in advanced technologies and makes an array of policy updates aimed at bolstering U.S. private-sector innovation, the defense STEM workforce, and the environmental resilience of military infrastructure and operations.
Concerned about the eroding U.S. share of the global microelectronics market, last year Congress fast-tracked legislation focused on bolstering domestic semiconductor R&D and manufacturing. Chip companies are now pressing the Biden administration and Congress to robustly fund the initiatives authorized by the legislation.
The House and Senate versions of the fiscal year 2021 National Defense Authorization Act continue multi-year efforts to address national security risks related to climate change, bolster and diversify the defense STEM workforce, and increase defense labs’ ability to collaborate and innovate.
The House and Senate versions of the fiscal year 2021 National Defense Authorization Act make significant policy proposals for the National Nuclear Security Administration as well as for the Defense Department’s missile defense and space technology development efforts.
The House and Senate versions of the fiscal year 2021 National Defense Authorization Act propose numerous provisions aimed at increasing U.S. competitiveness in commercial technologies that have important national security applications, including microelectronics, artificial intelligence, 5G telecommunications, and advanced nuclear reactors.
This bulletin reviews provisions proposed for inclusion in Congress’ annual defense policy update that are focused on bolstering the “national security innovation base” and protecting federally funded research from exploitation by rival governments.
NASA and the Department of Energy are expanding their collaboration as part of a broader White House push to develop nuclear power systems for space applications. The initiative comes as NASA faces key decisions on what fuel sources and technology development paths to pursue.
U.S. Chief Technology Officer Michael Kratsios has been appointed to serve part-time as acting under secretary of defense for research and engineering. The role was vacated this month by Mike Griffin, who resigned after an at-times tumultuous two year tenure.