The United States Navy

Department of the Navy Updates its Science, Technology Priorities

Press Release   •   Nov 17, 2011 05:46 EST

The Office of Naval Research (ONR) released Nov. 16, the latest update to the Naval Science and Technology (S&T) Strategic Plan, which reflects future naval requirements, including a new emphasis on autonomous systems and current fiscal realities.

"Our superiority at sea demands that we maintain superiority in science, engineering and technology," said Sean J. Stackley, assistant secretary of the Navy for research, development and acquisition. "Ours is a proud history, marked by great achievement and steady progress in the advancement of power and propulsion, weapon systems development, electronic warfare, and now, unmanned systems. This strategic plan provides a blueprint for our S&T community to move forward rapidly with game-changing ideas in areas where the need is greatest."

The 2011 Naval S&T Strategic Plan communicates how ONR operates as a full service provider of basic and applied research that delivers cutting-edge technology to Sailors and Marines. It has been simplified from those of previous years and reveals a renewed focus on ONR's core competencies of mid- to long-term S&T investments.

Key areas of difference between the 2011 biannual plan and the 2009 version include:

- Updated investment strategy reflecting Department of Defense and Department of the Navy (DON) program guidance.

- New emphasis on speed-to-fleet, which accelerates the insertion of maturing technologies into the naval forces.

- Thirteen S&T Focus Areas are consolidated to nine, including a new category, Autonomy and Unmanned Systems.

- An emphasis on science, technology, engineering and mathematics initiatives aimed at increasing the talent pool of future naval scientists and engineers.

"The revision updates our S&T focus areas, aligns investment priorities with higher guidance and provides a more balanced approach to our S&T portfolio," said Dr. Walter F. Jones, ONR executive director.

The plan, issued every two years, reveals how ONR's $1.9 billion budget is allocated and explains the organization's objectives. It reflects the DON's continued commitment to basic research, which is fundamental to sustaining innovation. In addition, the plan reaffirms ONR's long-standing support for the basic research community.

The plan's goals are to align the S&T with the naval mission and future capability needs; balance and manage the Navy's S&T portfolio; and communicate the S&T vision and approach.

The plan is submitted by the chief of naval research and approved by the secretary of the Navy for research, development and acquisition; Adm. Jonathan W. Greenert, then vice chief of naval operations; and Gen. Joseph F. Dunford Jr., assistant commandant of the Marine Corps.

ONR provides the science and technology necessary to maintain the Navy and Marine Corps' technological advantage. Through its affiliates, ONR is a leader in science and technology with engagement in 50 states, 70 countries, 1,035 institutions of higher learning and 914 industry partners. ONR employs approximately 1,400 people, comprising uniformed, civilian and contract personnel, with additional employees at the Naval Research Lab in Washington, D.C.

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