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Heidi Shyu on RDER’s Role in Transforming Innovative Ideas Into Warfighting Capabilities

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Heidi Shyu, the undersecretary of defense for research and engineering and a 2022 Wash100 awardee, said the U.S. Department of Defense is working with military and industry partners to gather and transform innovative ideas into advanced joint warfighting capabilities through the Rapid Defense Experimentation Reserve program.

Speaking at the Reagan National Defense Forum, Shyu said the goal of the RDER effort is to scout for ideas from service branches and combatant commands, test prototypes in a laboratory setting and deploy new military technologies to the battlefield, the Pentagon reported Sunday.

Established in 2021, RDER aims to facilitate prototyping and experimentation to support contested logistics, information advantage, joint fires, command and control and other joint warfighting concepts.

In August, DOD brought together more than 190 small and large companies during an industry engagement day at Johns Hopkins Applied Physics Laboratory to discuss RDER’s plans and objectives.

Shyu said small businesses will play a key role in addressing capability joint warfighting capability gaps, noting that DOD has collaborated with the Small Business Administration to help fund start-up companies.

The Potomac Officers Club will hold its 9th Annual Defense Research and Development Summit on Feb. 8 to discuss the U.S. military’s R&D priorities in emerging areas such as artificial intelligence, microelectronics and hypersonics.

Click here to register and join the event to hear from Shyu about DOD’s 14 critical technologies, R&D priorities, mission needs and global defense concerns.