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GAO-23-105084 (70 pages) titled "DoD Cybersecurity: Enhanced Attention Needed to Ensure Cyber Incidents Are Appropriately Reported and Shared" was released on 14 Nov 22. Besides the normal Highlights, Recommendations, and Report, there's also a podcast lasting 8:40 at the report site.
GAO report GAO-23-106114 (61 pages) released 15 Nov 22 is titled "China: Efforts Underway to Address Technology Transfer Risk at U.S. Universities, but ICE Could Improve Related Data." This is a public version of a sensitive report the GAO issued in August 2022.
Recently the Special Competitive Studies Project published its Interim Panel Report on Defense (33 pages) dated October 2022.
"This Defense Interim Panel Report (IPR) outlines a technology-centered strategic approach for the U.S. military. It starts by describing how the character of conflict has changed and is expected to change over the next several years. It explains how China aspires to defeat the United States in conflict. It then identifies existing U.S. military-technological asymmetries that the U.S. military can leverage to create advantages that will be difficult for China to quickly duplicate. We conclude by outlining a new competitive strategy - what we term an Offset-X strategy - that lays the groundwork for achieving and maintaining military-technological superiority over all potential adversaries, thwart China's theories of victory, restore America's ability to more freely project power into the Indo-Pacific region, and position the United States to honor its commitments to the stability of the region." (pp. 2-3)
Full report is available at:
On 17 Nov 22, the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy (OSTP) released a 16-page "National Cislunar Science and Technology Strategy" to "build a whole-of-government strategy for 'advancing scientific, exploration, and economic development activities' in cislunar space." It supports the Biden administration's 2021 Space Priorities Framework. The White House also released a fact sheet about the new cislunar strategy.
Long-time space reporter, Teresa Hitchens, published an article about the new strategy on 17 Nov 22 on the Breaking Defense site.
GAO has released a two-page S&T spotlight report on "Biorecycling of Plastics." See GAO-23-106261.
Today the GAO published a two-page S&T Spotlight document on Zero Trust Architecture (ZTA). This type of GAO publication provides a quick overview of a current S&T topic of interest. See GAO-23-106065.
The November issue of DTIC's newsletter, Science & Technology in the News, is now available. Check out the following stories and resources:
* The Honorable Heidi Shyu (OUSD(R&E)) provided remarks on hypersonics in American defense.
* Who will be the U.S representative to the NATO Defence Innovation Accelerator for the North Atlantic (DIANA) board of directors?
* DARPA's new Space Power Conversion Electronics (SPCE) program seeks new ways to use S&T advances to power satellites
* Can autonomous systems be the answer to homeland defense?
* Learn about the latest iteration of a pneumatically powered exoskeleton that can reduce fatigue, increase endurance, and offset weight.
* Preserve your current S&T efforts to accelerate future innovations
* Discover a go-to tool critical to your research planning and technology development efforts
* Review in-depth reports on the latest technologies by DoD's Information Analysis Centers
… and much more!
Click this link (or copy and paste the UL to a web browser) to see the new issue:
Science & Technology in the News compiles news and updates relevant to DoD and the research and engineering (R&E) community and highlights resources that will empower you to better analyze, shape, and share your science and technology efforts. DTIC would like to hear your feedback regarding the newsletter and the relevance of this month's content. Please send any feedback to firstname.lastname@example.org.
On 9 Nov 22, OUSD(R&E) released an updated version of DoDI 1025.09, "Science, Mathematics, and Research for Transformation Defense Education Program," that reissues and cancels the DoDI of the same name issued 27 Oct 16. The "SMART Defense Education Program" is also known as the "SMART Scholarship Program (SSP)." This program stems from 10 U.S.C. Section 4093 to provide financial assistance to eligible personnel by awarding scholarships in exchange for a period of obligated service to the DoD.
George Mason University's Center for Government Contracting released a 41-page report as part of its Acquisition Next initiative called "Execution Flexibility and Bridging the Valley of Death."
From the study's news release:
"This study investigated
four potential sources of execution flexibility available—innovation funds,
Program Element (PE) consolidation, reprogramming, and expired funds.
Interestingly, increasing execution flexibility does not require major
overhauls of laws or regulations. The ability to define the content of budget
line items is completely within the control of Congress and DoD if they can
work together. The general direction of action is clear: Larger and more
broadly justified budget line items that contain a portfolio of efforts, along
with timely access to lower-level execution metrics. The authors make a number
of recommendations to help facilitate movement towards those goals."
The full report can be dowloaded here.
The White House released a 53-page report "National Strategy for Advanced Manufacturing" from the National Science and Technology Council in October 2022.
If you are looking for comprehensive training materials on Other Transactions (OTs), DARPA has two presentations that can help you out. The longer 139-slide presentation is covered in DARPA's periodic live 1.5-day training events (I'm attending today and tomorrow). A shorter, 35-slide OT 101 presentation is also available.
Check out DARPA's Acquisition Innovation page for future training events and other useful info.
Found a new guide from OUSD(R&E) posted on its Engineering site today, though it is dated July 2022. It is the Early Manufacturing and Quality Engineering Guide (100 pages). This guide applies to the MCA, MTA, and UCA AAF pathways. From the Engineering site:
"The Early Manufacturing and Quality Engineering Guide describes best practices and guidance for DoD system developers, project leaders, and manufacturing and quality (M&Q) engineers to consider during early defense system development—the period starting with initial system concept definition before the Materiel Development Decision and culminating with the system Preliminary Design Review.
"During early development, a program's status and leadership roles may be forming. The decisions regarding early activities, including M&Q, may fall to different persons depending on the stage of development. This guide is intended for the relevant decision makers and their associated M&Q practitioners, so they may consider ways to incorporate M&Q proactively during fundamental early system development activities such as requirements definition, mission engineering, and systems engineering. The guide encourages development project teams to integrate M&Q considerations for warfighter capabilities that can be produced feasibly and that will meet quality requirements.
"The benefits of including M&Q in this early stage are many, including improvements in schedule, cost, and performance as the system proceeds through development."
The final version of the 2022 Manufacturing Readiness Level (MRL) Deskbook is now available at https://www.dodmrl.com/. There's a 97-page PDF file containing the deskbook, a one-page summary of the changes from the 2020 version, and an Excel file containing the updated nine Manufacturing Readiness Assessment (MRA) threads mapped to MRLs w/assessment criteria. Also available further down the page under "Available Tools and Training" is a ten-slide Executive Overview of MRLs, not what each one is but what MRLs are and their usefulness. A one-page summary of that presentation is also available there.
Of note to the STM community is that Section 2.5 was majorly re-written to describe the relationship of MRLs to TRLs. According to the change summary, Section 2.5 "Discusses no direct one-to-one link between MRL and TRL in the overall product development cycle but encourages manufacturing personnel to work closely with the technologist. The goal is to get manufacturing issues addressed much earlier in the overall development process."
Related to Section 2.5 is the first of the eight MRA threads (Thread A, Technology and Industrial Base) in Appendix A and the Excel file that relates to TRLs (Thread A.1) and Manufacturing Technology Development (Thread A.3). Appendix B, Operational Technology Cybersecurity, was added to this version.
On 22 Jul 22, the directors of the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) and Office of Science and Technology Policy (OSTP) issued their annual memo "Multi-Agency Research and Development Priorities for the FY 2024 Budget." The nine-page memo outlines seven "multi-agency R&D and STEM education activities that cannot be addressed by a single agency." These are:
The first article in the most recent U.S.-China Commission newsletter brought to my attentiiont the new Executive Order 14083 signed by President Biden on 15 Sep 22 that refines the foreign investment screening process under the Committee on Foreign Investment in the United States (CFIUS). The EO includes an explicit list of technologies considered fundamental to national security. The paragraph addressing these critical technologies is:
"The Committee shall consider, as appropriate, the covered transaction's effect on supply chain resilience and security, both within and outside of the defense industrial base, in manufacturing capabilities, services, critical mineral resources, or technologies that are fundamental to national security, including: microelectronics, artificial intelligence, biotechnology and biomanufacturing, quantum computing, advanced clean energy (such as battery storage and hydrogen), climate adaptation technologies, critical materials (such as lithium and rare earth elements), elements of the agriculture industrial base that have implications for food security, and any other sectors identified in section 3(b) or section 4(a) of Executive Order 14017 of February 24, 2021 (America's Supply Chains)."
White House press release:
Executive Order on Ensuring Robust Consideration of Evolving National Security Risks by the Committee on Foreign Investment in the United States - The White House
FACT SHEET: President Biden Signs Executive Order to Ensure Robust Reviews of Evolving National Security Risks by the Committee on Foreign Investment in the United States - The White House
EO 14083 (6 pages):
On 5 Oct 22, the USD for Personnel and Readiness issued Directive-type Memorandum 22-005, "Enhanced Pay Authority for Certain Acquisition and Technology Positions in DoD." The nine-page memo, which is in effect for one year and will be turned into a DoD instruction, "Establishes and implements policy, assigns responsibilities, prescribes procedures, and provides guidance for use of enhanced pay authority for covered acquisition and technology positions." It doesn't apply to the Senior Executive Service (SES), scientific and professional positions, senior level positions, or highly qualified experts. So, to whom does it apply? Page two of the memo states, "It is DoD policy to use enhanced pay authority to extent necessary to competitively recruit or retain individuals exceptionally well qualified for covered acquisition and technology positions that require expertise of an extremely high level in a scientific, technical, professional, or acquisition management field, and are critical to the successful development or accomplishment of an important acquisition or technology mission." These appointments must be for a period of less than five years and are not to exceed than five positions in the OSD and not more than five positions in each Military Department at any one time.
The USD(R&E), Ms. Shyu, has established a new Defense Science Board (DSB) Task Force on "Balancing Openess and Security Across the DoD Academic Research Enterprise" in a Terms of Reference (TOR) memo dated 20 Sep 22. The task force is to exist for no longer than 12 months. Find its TOR here.
On 22 Sep 22, the USD(R&E) issued a new version of DoDI 5535.08 that covers the DoD Technology Transfer (T2) Program. The new 23-page instruction reissues and cancels the last version of DoDI 5535.08 issued on 14 May 99, as amended. It also incorporates and cancels the affiliated DoDD 5535.03 of the same name issued 12 May 99, as amended.
DAU's online training asset covering DoD T2, CLE 069, will be updated to incorporate changes from the new instruction during the next annual update cycle at the end of CY22.
Congress pass a bill (S.4900) on 20 Sep 22 to reauthorize the Small Business Innovation (SBIR) and Small Business Technology Transfer (STTR) programs for another three years (FY23-25). The bill doesn't state revised appropriation withhold percentages for either program so those are assumed to remain at the FY18-22 levels. The bill tightens review criteria for companies that receive multiple SBIRs and adds reporting criteria for foreign relationships with those seeking SBIR/STTR awards.
A summary of the bill can be found here.
The DoD Inspector General (IG) recently released its 38-page report titled "Audit of DoD Other Transactions and the Use of Nontraditional Contractors and Resource Sharing," dated 8 Sep 22. The audit didn't review all OTs awarded in recent years, and none awarded though consortia, but for the 34 OTs for prototypes it did review, it did not find any illegalities but did find some areas that need to be tightened up. DoD agreed with the findings so the Defense Pricing and Contracting Office will update the 2018 DoD OT Guide in the next few months.
The DoD IG did review OTs awarded through consortia in its 54-page report "Audit of Other Transactions Awarded Through Consortia" dated 21 Apr 21.
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