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    What is the definition of "enabling/critical technologies"?


    Congress defined "critical technologies" as "essential for the United States to develop to further the long-term national security or economic prosperity of the United States."[1] The phrase "critical technologies" as used in the legislation implies that some technologies are so fundamental to national security or so highly enabling of economic growth that the capability to produce these technologies must be retained or developed in the United States.
    [1] US Code, Title 42, Section 6683.
    DAU, in the Glossary of Defense Acquisition Acronyms & Terms, defines Critical Technology as: Technologies that consist of: (a) arrays of design and manufacturing know-how (including  technical data); (b) keystone manufacturing, inspection, and test equipment; (c) keystone materials; and (d) goods accompanied by sophisticated operation, application, or maintenance know-how that would make a significant contribution to the military potential of any country or combination of countries and that may prove detrimental to the security of the United States.  (Also referred to as militarily critical technology.)

    An enabling technology is an
    invention or innovation, that can be applied to drive radical change in the capabilities of a user or culture. Enabling technologies are characterized by rapid development of subsequent derivative technologies, often in diverse fields.  (Wikipedia)

    Also: Equipment and/or methodology that, alone or in combination with associated technologies, provides the means to generate giant leaps in performance and capabilities of the user. For example, the coming together of telecommunication technologies, internet, and groupware has leveled the field so that even smaller firms are able to compete in areas where they otherwise could not.  (

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