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Strategic Engagement in Global S&T: Opportunities for Defense Research

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Over the past several decades, the global science and technology ST landscape has changed, in terms of both scientific output and contributions made by the global, as opposed to national, ST communities, as well as the means and rapidity by which ST knowledge is created and shared around the globe. Universities and industries must compete globally to attract the best talent from an increasingly global talent pool. Countries whose ST enterprises fail to maintain awareness of emerging technological advances and to engage and collaborate with those who lead their fields may find themselves falling behind, with dramatic implications for economic competitiveness and national security. On the one hand, the globalization of research, of knowledge, and of the ST workforce presents great opportunities for leveraging investments, sharing costs, and solving environmental and societal challenges that require international coordination and collaboration. On the other hand, it also presents several challenges, including increased global competition, prioritizing international engagement activities as ST budgets shrink, and overcoming the stigma that the benefits of international collaboration are outweighed by the risks. 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 ST 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 ST 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.

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  • Military Forces and Organizations

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