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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.


16 Mar 2018

A chorus of concern has emerged in Congress about China’s allegedly pervasive exploitation of the U.S.’s intellectual property and open research environment, with some lawmakers seeking to overhaul foreign investment and export control systems. Meanwhile, the Trump administration is preparing a package of unilateral retaliation measures that reportedly could include visa restrictions on Chinese students and academics.

23 Feb 2018

The president’s fiscal year 2019 budget request for the Defense Department includes large funding increases for late-stage technology development, prototyping, and testing activities. Funding for earlier-stage Science and Technology programs would remain generally steady, with a substantial increase slated for the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency.

7 Feb 2018

The Trump administration’s policy toward nuclear weapons development and use, articulated in its Nuclear Posture Review, declares the U.S. needs new “tailored” and “flexible” deterrent capabilities and a more “responsive” production infrastructure and technical workforce.

26 Jan 2018

The Senate Armed Services Committee has approved the nominations of Mike Griffin to be under secretary of defense for research and engineering and Will Roper to be assistant secretary of the Air Force for acquisition. At their confirmation hearing, the nominees outlined the need for DOD to better exploit its R&D as it strives to field next-generation technologies.

24 Jan 2018

Prior to retiring as director of the Defense Department’s Basic Research Office, Robin Staffin described the office’s role to FYI and reflected on a career spanning physics and policy.

30 Nov 2017

Following the 8 percent increase enacted for Defense Department S&T funding in fiscal year 2017, the Senate and House are respectively proposing 0.5 and 2 percent cuts for fiscal year 2018.

21 Nov 2017

Congress has passed the National Defense Authorization Act, an annual bill that sets policy for the Department of Defense and the National Nuclear Security Administration. The final version incorporated or adapted many of the R&D-related proposals from the original House and Senate versions of the bill.

3 Nov 2017

Mike Griffin has been selected to become the first under secretary of defense for research and engineering since 1986. Griffin was NASA administrator from 2005 to 2009 and has extensive experience in government and private industry. If confirmed, he will be tasked with instilling the Defense Department’s science and technology activities with a more innovative, risk-tolerant culture.

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.