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Stephen Welby: DoD Must Gain Innovation Advantage Over Adversaries for Tech Edge

Stephen Welby
Stephen Welby

Stephen Welby, assistant secretary of defense for research and engineering, has said Defense Department must be more innovative than the U.S.’ adversaries if the country is to hold technological superiority in battle, DoD News reported Friday.

Welby discussed research-and-development efforts across the defense sector at the Center for Strategic and International Studies and outlined DoD’s strategies to further its innovation programs, Cheryl Pellerin reports.

He said technological superiority requires science and technology that helps to sustain fundamental research and make use of emerging tools in order to meet warfighter needs, according to the report.

“We need to be open and agile, to leverage all potential sources of technical advantage, from our traditional industrial base, from nontraditional suppliers and from academia to help to create competitive advantage,” Welby said at the event.

Welby also called on DoD laboratories to help translate technical capabilities into concepts that will help to address warfighter requirements to respond to threats, Pellerin reports.

As DoD’s chief technology officer, he said one of his responsibilities is to keep the department focused on its science and technology portfolio, the report says.

He cited technical focus areas of DoD that include autonomy, cyber, sensors, electronic warfare, ground and sea platforms, space, human systems, air platforms, biomedical, counter weapons of mass destruction and counter improvised explosive devices.

Welby said DoD plans to increase its use of prototypes and experiments to mature technologies, Pellerin reports.

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