DOD

With the CHIPS and Science Act set to channel billions of dollars into U.S. semiconductor R&D and manufacturing, chip companies and other stakeholders are weighing in on how to best structure the new programs.

President Biden’s nominee to lead the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy has maintained a career-long focus on applications-oriented R&D and is an ardent advocate for applying the Advanced Research Projects Agency model to national problems.

The funding increase that Congress provided to Defense Department R&D programs in fiscal year 2022 outpaced those of most nondefense science agencies. The Biden administration is seeking significant budget increases for some priorities in fiscal year 2023, but its proposals still leave early-stage R&D facing significant cuts.

A new study sponsored by the American Physical Society concludes that U.S. systems for intercepting intercontinental ballistic missiles cannot be relied on to counter even a limited nuclear strike and are unlikely to achieve reliability within the next 15 years.

The Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency has implemented a review process for fundamental research projects that assesses risks posed by funding applicants’ affiliations with organizations in countries of concern.

Science and technology provisions included in Congress’ latest defense policy update reflect lawmakers ongoing interest in accelerating the adoption of emerging technologies; advancing specific technology categories such as quantum computing, microelectronics, and biotechnology; and streamlining collaboration between the Defense Department and extramural researchers.

Senate appropriators have proposed significant increases for defense R&D programs for fiscal year 2022, including a 12% boost to the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency, while House appropriators propose a topline cut for the early-stage research budget.

The Defense Department’s spending on R&D, test, and evaluation is leveling out after several years of rapid growth and funding for early-stage R&D accounts is increasing 5% to $16.9 billion.

Within a historically high budget request for the Department of Defense’s R&D programs, the Biden administration is proposing to pare back support for early-stage research.

In support of her nomination to be under secretary of defense for research and engineering, Heidi Shyu answered questions this week from the Senate Armed Services Committee about matters such as defense innovation priorities and research security.