Pentagon’s New Research Chief Outlines Priorities, Calls for International Engagement

The U.S. Chief Technology Officer, who recently took on the dual role of Pentagon acting Under Secretary of Defense for Research and Engineering, on August 13 outlined priorities for his DoD role including testing and scaling technologies, partnering with the private sector and academic community, and engaging internationally.

During an online event hosted by Georgetown University’s Center for Security and Emerging Technology one month after his designation to the DoD position, Michael Kratsios spoke for the first time publicly in his new role.

“My first mission is to do even more to empower the DoD’s researchers and technologists as they employ the department’s unique authorities and unrivaled testing environments to pursue innovation at a scale and scope unattainable by the private sector,” Kratsios said.

He discussed the department’s ongoing work with industry in 5G experimentation at a handful of bases across the country. Earlier in the week, Kratsios announced DoD would be sharing mid-band spectrum with industry in the coming years.

“We will continue to renew our emphasis on research and development, and deepen our strategic partnerships with America’s private sector and academic community to advance critical innovations,” Kratsios said.

He noted that the budget for the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) is the largest in history, and called for international collaboration in research and development as well.

“More and more, the impacts of these advanced technologies like 5G, quantum computing, artificial intelligence, and other industries of the future quickly extend across borders,” Kratsios said. “We will engage closely with likeminded nations who stand with the United States to defend freedom and face the shared challenges of our time.”

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