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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.

 

19 May 2017

Earlier this month, two Senate subcommittee hearings addressed R&D and innovation at the Defense Department. Witnesses praised DOD’s existing innovation policies and department laboratories’ special administrative authorities. But they pressed for better access to military construction funds and described the administrative barriers that prevent lab leaders from fully using their authorities.

8 May 2017

The final appropriations agreement for fiscal year 2017 provides a 3.6 percent increase for the Defense Department’s Research, Development, Test, and Evaluation activities. Within that, funding for basic research is cut by 1.4 percent, applied research is increased by 6 percent, and advanced technology development is increased by 13.1 percent.

14 Feb 2017

The Defense Science Board has released its Defense Research Enterprise Assessment, presenting conclusions of a year-long task force study of Defense Department laboratories and technology centers. The assessment recommends the labs be granted greater managerial independence and a stronger role in acquisitions and the formulation of technology requirements.

9 Jan 2017

Among his final actions in office over the past month, President Obama signed three major research-related bills into law: the 21st Century Cures Act, the American Innovation and Competitiveness Act, and the National Defense Authorization Act.

9 Dec 2016

Both the House and Senate have passed the fiscal year 2017 “National Defense Authorization Act." The NDAA is a bill, passed annually, that authorizes and sets policy for defense programs at the Defense and Energy Departments, including defense R&D.

3 Nov 2016

In an address last week, Defense Secretary Ash Carter provided an update on the Defense Department’s efforts to facilitate work with innovation-centric companies and to strengthen relations with researchers and engineers who might otherwise not work on defense problems. These efforts are part of DOD’s Third Offset Strategy and its campaign to build a “Force of the Future.”

3 Oct 2016

At a hearing last week, the House Emerging Threats and Capabilities Subcommittee discussed the role and health of the Defense Department’s research laboratories in the context of the department’s Third Offset Strategy to leverage innovation to preserve U.S. military superiority. Witnesses from the labs focused on administrative obstacles and aging facilities as the primary burdens preventing the labs from fully realizing their potential.

21 Jul 2016

In its research and development planning, the Defense Department is currently following a strategy referred to as the Third Offset, which focuses heavily on technological innovation and implementation. Congress, though, has pushed back on DOD’s Third Offset priorities, allocating higher than requested funding for early-stage research while looking to keep a tighter rein on special innovation initiatives personally backed by Secretary of Defense Ashton Carter.

13 Jul 2016

Among its most significant science-related provisions, the National Defense Authorization Act passed by the Senate would assign management of Department of Defense R&D to a reconstituted Under Secretary of Defense for Research & Engineering. The bill also contains multiple measures to improve DOD’s ability to hire top technical talent, and the authoring committee expresses interest in “comprehensive defense lab governance reform.”

11 Jul 2016

House Environment Subcommittee Chairman Rep. Jim Bridenstine has convened another in a series of hearings on the nation’s weather satellite programs, building on his ongoing interest in the programs’ management and future.

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