The Department of Defense released the National Defense Science and Technology Strategy, or NDSTS, today. Guided by the National Defense Strategy, the NDSTS articulates the science and technology priorities, goals, and investments of the Department and makes recommendations on the future of the defense research and engineering enterprise.


“To achieve the objectives of the NDS we must leverage critical emerging technologies,” said Heidi Shyu, DoD Chief Technology Officer. “This Strategy helps us make carefully crafted decisions that bolster our comparative advantages rather than engaging in wasteful technology races. We will emphasize developing asymmetric capabilities that will help ensure our national security over the long term.”


The Strategy will execute along three lines of effort:


  • Focus on the Joint Mission by investing in information systems and establishing processes for rigorous, threat informed analysis that will better enable the Department to make informed choices in its science and technology investments.
  • Create and field capabilities at speed and scale by fostering a more vibrant defense innovation ecosystem, accelerating the transition of new technology into the field, and communicating effectively inside and outside the Department.
  • Ensure the foundations for research and development by continuing and expanding upon our efforts to recruit, retain, and cultivate talent; revitalizing our physical infrastructure; upgrading our digital infrastructure; and nurturing stronger collaboration across all stakeholders.

The NDSTS will continue to emphasize the 14 Critical Technology Areas detailed in the DoD CTO’s Strategic Vision. Also, international allies and industry partners are integral to the Department’s research and development efforts, and the Strategy seeks to expand opportunities to co-research and co-develop with them. The Department will continue to leverage the broad innovation ecosystem across academia, Federally-funded research and development centers (FFRDCs), university affiliated research centers (UARCs), DoD laboratories, national laboratories, non-profit entities, commercial industry, and other Government departments and agencies.  The unclassified version of the Strategy can be accessed here.


About the DoD Chief Technology Officer (DoD CTO)


The Under Secretary of Defense for Research and Engineering (USD(R&E) is the Chief Technology Officer of the Department of Defense. The DoD CTO champions research, science, technology, engineering, and innovation to maintain the United States military’s technological advantage. Learn more at, follow us on Twitter @DoDCTO, or visit us on LinkedIn at

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