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Heidi Shyu Announces Pentagon’s National Defense Science & Tech Strategy

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Heidi Shyu, undersecretary for research and engineering at the Department of Defense and a 2022 Wash100 Award winner, said her office will spearhead a new science and technology strategy that will serve as a roadmap for the U.S. military to strengthen its technological advantage over strategic competitors.

Shyu wrote in the Tuesday memo that the DOD strategy will be structured around the pillars of mission focus, foundation building and succeeding through teamwork and informed by the 2022 National Defense Strategy.

She said there are 14 critical tech areas that are key to maintaining U.S. national security. These tech areas have been classified into three categories: seed areas of emerging opportunity, effective adoption areas and defense-specific areas.

“By focusing efforts and investments into these 14 critical technology areas, the Department will accelerate transitioning key capabilities to the Military Services and Combatant Commands,” Shyu wrote in the memo.

The seed areas of emerging opportunity category includes biotechnology, quantum science, future generation wireless technology of Future G and advanced materials, while directed energy, hypersonics and integrated sensing and cyber are under the defense-specific areas.

The effective adoption areas category covers trusted AI and autonomy; integrated network systems-of-systems; microelectronics; space technology; renewable energy generation and storage; advanced computing and software; and human-machine interfaces.

Shyu said her office will develop and rapidly prototype critical technologies and advance joint experimentation to facilitate the delivery of capabilities to warfighters while supporting reforms to DOD’s resource allocation processes and pursuing “novel mechanisms and alternative pathways to rapidly field technologies.”

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