Military Lags Behind Industry in R&D

Vice Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Gen. Paul J. Selva on Thursday called on the Defense Department to regain its lost position of leadership in research and development. In 1996, Selva said, “the military spent 10 times more than civilian companies” on development of new technologies, but he said the situation is now reversed and the commercial sector far outpaces the military in technological innovation. The way forward, Selva suggested, lies not in a further reversal of the trend, but rather in enhanced military-commercial partnerships. “We’re not venture capitalists,” Selva said, “but we borrow from them, trying to pinpoint where risk is most likely to payoff.” (See also: DOD Opens Second Startup Technology Office.)