Accession Number:



Smart Management of R&D in the 21st Century: Strengthening the Army's Science and Technology Capabilities

Descriptive Note:

Issue paper

Corporate Author:


Report Date:


Pagination or Media Count:



To ensure that the Army will meet future defense challenges, the Secretary of the Army and the Army Chief of Staff have articulated a vision for the Army of the 21st century that involves transforming it into an Objective Force that is responsive, deployable, agile, versatile, lethal, survivable, and sustainable. Achieving the Objective Force will require the Army to maintain its superior science and technology ST capability through its research and development RD and procurement efforts. For example, a cornerstone of the Objective Force is the advanced technology Future Combat System, highlighting how essential it is for the Army to maintain its top-notch ST capability. A number of trends over the past decade have made it especially challenging for the Army to maintain the critical ST element of its transformation. First, the RD budget has been declining for the past 15 years, and this trend is likely to continue. Second, the Armys civilian workforce, many of whom are the scientists and engineers SEs integral to the Armys RD capability, has declined in numbers because of acquisition workforce reductions. In addition, increased competition with private industry for highly qualified technical staff has made it difficult for the Army to attract and retain the talented SEs it needs to ensure a continued superior ST capability for the coming decades. Faced with these shortfalls, how should the Army sustain superior ST capabilities to support the Army transformation During the past five years, RAND Arroyo Center has worked with the Army to address this question. Arroyo research has shown that a strategy built on a foundation of three integrated building blocks will enable the Army to be the effective smart buyer and smart provider it must be to achieve the challenging ST goals required to support the Army transformation. The three building blocks are optimal in-house RD, expanded collaborative efforts, and smart outsourcing.

Subject Categories:

  • Military Forces and Organizations

Distribution Statement: