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Heidi Shyu on DOD’s Rapid Defense Experimentation Reserve

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Heidi Shyu, undersecretary for research and engineering at the Department of Defense and a previous Wash100 Award winner, said DOD’s innovation steering group oversees an initiative called the Rapid Defense Experimentation Reserve that seeks feedback from service branches and combatant commands to help address capability gaps in joint warfighting, DOD News reported Monday.

RDER also helps facilitate prototyping and experimentation to support joint fires, information advantage, contested logistics and other joint warfighting concepts.

Shyu said her office received 203 ideas within five weeks through RDER and picked the top 32 ideas for funding that could address joint capability gaps.

Innovation areas that the Pentagon is focusing on include the development of trusted artificial intelligence and trusted autonomy; establishment of an integrated network system of systems; development of quantum computers and sensors; use of biotech to improve situational awareness; and production of high energy lasers that can counter unmanned systems and missiles. 

“We are finally at the cusp of delivering prototypes to the warfighter,” Shyu said of high-energy lasers.

Shyu noted that DOD has a three-pillar strategy to address the challenges facing the U.S. military: harness U.S. technology innovation to address operational challenges, establish the foundation to build a future workforce and depend on industry, academia, partners and allies.

Heidi Shyu will act as a keynote speaker during Potomac Officers Club’s 8th Annual Defense R&D Summit where elite government and industry leaders will come together to discuss the Department of Defense’s current innovation priorities, technology advancements and general strategy to stay ahead of the curve in the evolving defense sector.

Visit PotomacOfficersClub.com to learn more about the upcoming event. Don’t wait until the new year to register