Department of Defense

22 Sep 2017

The Senate passed its version of the annual National Defense Authorization Act on Sept. 18, sending the bill to conference committee. House and Senate conferees now must come to an agreement on a vast library of provisions, including many concerning R&D policy.

10 Aug 2017

In a new report, the Defense Department outlines its plan to reform the organizational structure of its research and engineering activities, in compliance with the fiscal year 2017 National Defense Authorization Act. A principal aim of the reorganization is to foster a more risk-tolerant culture of innovation.

13 Jul 2017

A new Government Accountability Office report compares Defense Department innovation management to practices in private industry and asserts that DOD should manage “disruptive” projects differently from “incremental” ones.

1 Jun 2017

President Trump’s fiscal year 2018 budget requests a 5.8 cut to Department of Defense S&T accounts below currently enacted levels, but still above fiscal year 2016 levels. Funding for late-stage development, prototyping, and demonstration receives a substantial increase in line with DOD’s priorities under its Third Offset 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.”

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