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The United States depends on science, technology and innovative engineering to not only protect the American people but to advance our national interests and to prepare us to meet the challenges of an uncertain future. Given today's globalized access to knowledge and the rapid pace of technology development, innovation, speed, and agility have taken on greater importance to DoD efforts.


Research & Engineering Guiding Imperatives

The Department’s R&E contributions are critical to the nation’s defense. The R&E community has three strategic guiding imperatives:

  1. Mitigate current and emerging adversary threats that could degrade U.S. (and allied) capabilities;
  2. Affordably enable new or extended capabilities in existing military systems;
  3. Create technology surprise through science and engineering applications to military problems.

These imperatives complement the seven science and technology (S&T) priorities approved in 2011 by then-Secretary of Defense Robert Gates and provide the focus to meet future the Department’s technological goals.

The Assistant Secretary of Defense for Research and Engineering (ASD(R&E)) provides S&T leadership throughout the Department of Defense; shaping strategic direction and strengthening the research and engineering coordination efforts to meet tomorrow's challenges.

Maintaining a Technological Edge

"We're investing aggressively in innovation. We're pushing the envelope with research into new technologies - on robotics, data science, cybersecurity, biotech, hypersonic engines that can fly over five times the speed of sound, and I could go on. We're drilling tunnels through that wall that sometimes seems to separate government from scientists and commercial technologists - making it more permeable so more of America's brightest minds can contribute to our mission of national defense..."

Secretary Carter, Silicon Valley,
Aug. 28, 2015

Dept of Defense US Air Force OASAALT RDECOM ONR NRL US Air Force Joint Chiefs of Staff Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency Force Health Protection & Readiness Defense Threat Reduction Agency Missile Defense Agency Joint Improvised Explosive Device Defeat Organization Chemical & Biological Defense Program