Technical Assessment: Data-Enabled Technology Watch & Horizon Scanning
OFFICE OF THE ASSISTANT SECRETARY OF DEFENSE (RESEARCH AND ENGINEERING) WASHINGTON DC OFFICE OF TECHNICAL INTELLIGENCE
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For more than five decades, the U.S. Department of Defense DoD has been a world leader in science and technology ST however, it currently faces a range of challenges to maintaining that leadership. Cutting-edge research and development RD is increasingly dispersed internationally. It has also expanded beyond the domain of established universities and large, longstanding corporations, and DoD does not have the same depth of relationships with newer technology companies, start-ups, and even community laboratories where exciting breakthroughs are occurring today. Meanwhile, the raw number of participants, amount of technical information, and sources of relevant data are all growing rapidly, creating major challenges to finding relevant information. Thus, DoD has multiple challenges to staying informed of cutting-edge work and guiding its investments appropriately, all while the importance of doing so is increasing. Competitors are challenging DoD s technical advantage, and budget pressures are limiting DoD s ability to expand what it funds. As these challenges have mounted, the data analytics field has grown rapidly, producing more sophisticated algorithms which run more quickly using more powerful, less expensive computing resources. Combined with the explosion in ST data, this has created interest in the potential for data analytics to enable new and effective approaches to technology watch and horizon scanning TWHS. Technology watch is typically defined as the characterization of activity in a known field, and horizon scanning focuses on identifying new or emergent concepts. However, these concepts bleed together in many cases, so this assessment discusses them together, covering the identification, characterization, and forecasting of known and unknown science, technology, and applications. More specifically, this assessment focuses on data-enabled TWHS approaches to benefit the Defense research and engineering community.
- Administration and Management
- Information Science