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New National Defense Strategy stresses investing in emerging technologies

November 03, 2022

The 2022 National Defense Strategy, released last week, emphasizes the need to accelerate the Pentagon’s capacity for buying and deploying emerging technologies. Technology sectors called out as targets include advanced materials, artificial intelligence, biotechnology, clean energy, directed energy, hypersonics, microelectronics, quantum science and space. The report indicates that the Department of Defense (DOD) is considering R&D funding, ecosystem support and adapting civilian technologies among the tools it will use to pursue emerging tech.

Other technology-related priorities discussed in the report include:

  • Bolstering support for research institutions, including those based at universities and federally-funded R&D centers;
  • Expanding DOD’s tech workforce (particularly in cybersecurity, data science and AI), including by working with universities and community colleges to address hiring and education gaps; and,
  • The National Nuclear Security Administration will establish a new science and technology innovation initiative to incorporate innovations into weapon design and processing more rapidly.

Unfortunately, the report does not include many details about how DOD will pursue these priorities. Many of the above activities could be interpreted as references to existing programs (such as the Defense Manufacturing Communities Support Partnership or SBIR/STTR) but may indicate new programs. Congress is likely to consider the annual defense authorization and funding before the end of the year, and these bills may provide more insight into DOD’s immediate plans.

The National Defense Strategy is available here.

defense, dept of defense, technology, commercialization