Global Research and Development Landscape and Implications for the Department of Defense [Updated June 28, 2021] [open pdf - 2MB]
From the Introduction: "Providing for the national defense is a central concern of Congress, and technological advantage has long provided U.S. forces with a battlefield overmatch, deterring potential conflicts and contributing to decisive U.S. military victories. Underpinning U.S. technological advantage are leading-edge innovations built on a foundation of insights gained from research and development (R&D) activities. Today, many analysts believe that U.S. technological overmatch--and, by extension, national security--is at risk due to a number of factors, including a rapidly evolving global landscape for innovation; changes in the composition of R&D funding; and the increasing technological prowess of potential adversaries. Many policymakers believe that new approaches and mechanisms are required to maintain U.S. technological advantage. Congress plays a central role in how the Department of Defense (DOD) creates and acquires leading-edge technologies, including establishing and refining the organizational structure of DOD research and development activities,1 providing policy direction, and appropriating funds for R&D and innovation-related activities. Congress and the Administration have undertaken actions in these areas in an effort to ensure that the United States maintains superiority over its potential adversaries. This report provides an overview of the changes that have occurred in the global R&D landscape, the Administration's policies and perspectives on how to maintain U.S. military technological leadership, actions taken by Congress, and potential issues for consideration."
CRS Report for Congress, R45403
Congressional Research Service: https://crsreports.congress.gov/