(2) Engineered Resilient Systems – engineering concepts, science, and design tools to protect against malicious compromise of weapon systems and to develop agile manufacturing for trusted and assured defense systems.
(3) Cyber Science and Technology – science & technology for efficient, effective cyber capabilities across the spectrum of joint operations.
(4) Electronic Warfare / Electronic Protection – new concepts and technology to protect systems and extend capabilities across the electro-magnetic spectrum.
(5) Counter weapons of Mass Destruction (WMD) – advances in DoD’s ability to locate, secure, monitor, tag, track, interdict, eliminate and attribute WMD weapons and materials.
(6) Autonomy – science & technology to achieve autonomous systems that reliably and safely accomplish complex tasks, in all environments.
(7) Human Systems – science & technology to enhance human-machine interfaces to increase productivity and effectiveness across a broad range of missions.5
An investment strategy implied by the documents cited above requires an understanding of the global S&T landscape at a granular level not provided by current S&T indicators. It requires ongoing field/sub-field-level benchmarking to ascertain not only the current U.S. position relative to other nations but also to identify the trends and accelerators that help forecast future positions. To maintain technological advantage in the priority S&T investment areas, DoD must not only focus its investment portfolio, but also ensure that its investments are informed by an awareness of research around the world.
An effective and efficient DoD S&T investment strategy thus requires not only ongoing benchmarking at a granular level, but also sustained engagement and collaboration with other nations in order to more fully understand the nation-specific cultural factors that shape trends and accelerate (or impede) progress.
A Baseline Understanding of S&T Indicators
Science has always been a global endeavor but the 20th century birth of the Internet, which enabled a host of subsequent technological advances, created an inflection point in the evolution of the global S&T landscape. Today the 21st century scientific enterprise is more geographically distributed and more interdependent than ever before.6
Whereas advances in S&T have long fueled the pace of globalization; now globalization is accelerating the pace of advances in S&T. The physical borders that define national sovereignty pose minimal barriers to the flow of information or ideas and do little to impede the coalescence of global networks among inventors and innovators. A recent NRC report on the S&T strategies of six countries observed that “[t]he increased access to information has transformed the 1950s’
5 Secretary of Defense Memorandum, April 19, 2011. OSD 02073-11. Available online at http://www.acq.osd.mil/chieftechnologist/publications/docs/OSD%2002073-11.pdf. Last accessed August 3, 2011.
6 See, for example, a report on the increasing globalization of science, The Royal Society. 2011. Knowledge, Networks and Nations: Global Scientific Collaboration in the 21st Century. (Hereafter Knowledge, Networks and Nations.) London, United Kingdom: Elsevier, p. 5.