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Consensus Study Report


According to recent reports, the United States currently accounts for less than one-third of global research and development spending, and it is projected that this fraction will decline to 18% by 2050. These statistics, compounded by the recognition that the United States no longer maintains technological superiority across all research fields, highlight the need for the U.S. research community to stay abreast of emerging science and technology (S&T) around the world, to leverage others' investments, and to seek out collaborations in areas where researchers need to remain at the leading edge.

The United States' Department of Defense (DoD) has long relied on its historical technological superiority to maintain military advantage. However, as the U.S. share of S&T output shrinks and as the U.S. defense research enterprise struggles to keep pace with the expanding challenges of the evolving security environment and the increased speed and cost of global technology development, the DoD must reexamine its strategy for maintaining awareness of emerging S&T developments occurring around the world. To fully leverage these advances and to make strategic research investments, the DoD must assess with whom and in which areas it should collaborate. To delve more deeply into the implications of the globalization of S&T and of international S&T engagement for the DoD, the Office of Naval Research, the Air Force Office of Scientific Research , and the Office of the Deputy Assistant Secretary of the Army for Research and Technology asked the National Research Council to assess current DoD strategies in the three Services - Army, Air Force, and Navy - for leveraging global S&T and for implementing and coordinating these strategies across the department.

Strategic Engagement in Global S&T assesses the opportunities and challenges stemming from the globalization of S&T and the implications for the DoD and its Services. This report considers DoD strategies in the three Services for leveraging global S&T and implementation and coordination of these strategies across DoD. The report explores models for global S&T engagement utilized by other domestic and foreign organizations.Strategic Engagement in Global S&T assesses how the ongoing globalization of S&T may impact research funding and priorities and workforce needs, as well as issues of building and maintaining trusted relationships and avoiding technology surprises. This report will be of interest to researchers and industry professionals with expertise in the globalization of science and technology, international engagement, the defense research enterprise, program evaluation, and national security.


Suggested Citation

National Research Council. 2014. Strategic Engagement in Global S&T: Opportunities for Defense Research. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press.

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Publication Info

144 pages |  6 x 9 | 

  • Paperback:  978-0-309-30622-5
  • Ebook:  978-0-309-30625-6

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