White House Issues New Memo on R&D Budget Priorities for Fiscal 2019

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The White House has released a new memorandum to provide federal agencies information on the administration’s priority areas in research and development and guide them as they create and submit their fiscal 2019 budget requests to the Office of Management and Budget.

The memo published Thursday directs agencies to invest in R&D efforts that seek to advance U.S. military superiority such as the development of missile defense platforms, hypersonic weapons, strategic deterrent and computing capabilities as well as space-based and autonomous systems.

OMB Director Mick Mulvaney co-wrote the document with Michael Kratsios, deputy assistant to the president at the Office of Science and Technology Policy.

The memo asks agencies to support R&D work on cybersecurity platforms that aim to protect the country’s critical infrastructure from cyber attacks as well as law enforcement and border surveillance systems designed to facilitate detection of illegal activities.

Agencies should continue to advance research in biometrics, machine learning, autonomous systems, quantum computing and other emerging technologies that would help advance the economy, according to the memo.

The document also states R&D practices the Trump administration wants agencies to prioritize such as increasing government accountability, supporting early-stage applied research and advancing interagency coordination programs.

The administration also wants agencies to integrate science, technology, engineering and math education into their workforce training initiatives and support the modernization of the country’s research infrastructure.

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