technology (S&T) on U.S. national security and economic policies. 1 An ad hoc committee of the board will produce a fast-track letter report that provides a characterization of the global S&T landscape that can be used as a roadmap2 to develop future activities. The committee will gather information from relevant work from throughout the National Academies, including relevant NRC, NAE and NAS reports, BGST meetings, and from the two workshops on emerging technologies convened by BGST in the past year: “Shifting Power: Smart Energy Grid 2020” (August 2010) and “Realizing the Value from ‘Big Data’ ” (February-March 2011).

The National Security Implications of the Globalization of S&T

For many decades, U.S. technological leadership provided a solid foundation for both national security and economic competitiveness. That foundation is eroding. It is increasingly apparent that future U.S. S&T investment strategy must be informed by a comprehensive understanding of the global S&T environment.

In its 1995 report Allocating Federal Funds for Science and Technology, the NRC recommended that:

“The President and Congress should ensure that the Federal Science and Technology budget is sufficient to allow the United States to achieve preeminence in a select number of fields and to perform at a world-class level in the other major fields.”3

The most recent Quadrennial Defense Review (QDR) observed that:

As global research and development (R&D) investment increases, it is proving increasingly difficult for the United States to maintain a competitive advantage across the entire spectrum of defense technologies…. The Department will consider the scope and potential benefits of an R&D strategy that prioritizes those areas where it is vital to maintain a technological advantage.4

Planning guidance issued by the Secretary of Defense in April 2011 identified the following priority S&T investment areas:

(1) Data to Decisions – science and applications to reduce the cycle time and manpower requirements for analysis and use of large data sets.


1 The sponsor did not seek input on economic policy during the first program year. BGST plans to investigate economic issues related to the globalization of emerging technologies as it expands its sponsor base.

2 The experimental activities that the Board conducted during its first program year have shown the complexity of creating a roadmap of global S&T—even for creating the Board’s own activity plan. The Board has decided that it would best to base any future roadmap on information that is collected from activities over a multi-year period.

3 National Research Council. 199. Allocating Federal Funds for Science and Technology. Washington, DC: National Academies Press, p. 14.

4 U.S. Department of Defense. 2010. Quadrennial Defense Review Report. Washington, DC: Government Printing Office, pp. 94-95.

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