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ONR maps long-term investment for future Naval requirements

ARLINGTON, Va.The Office of Naval Research (ONR) released Nov. 16 its latest 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 The Honorable 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 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. For example, ONR has reduced overhead to maximize S&T funding for a robust portfolio.

"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's executive director.

The plan, issued every two years, reveals how ONR's $1.9 billion budget is allocated and explains the organization's objectives. Its goals are to: (1) align naval S&T with the naval mission and future capability needs; (2) balance and manage the S&T portfolio; and (3) communicate the S&T vision and approach.

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

  • Updated investment strategy reflecting Department of Defense program guidance
  • New speed-to-fleet streamlined acquisition process, which speeds the fielding of new and promising technology to warfighters
  • Thirteen S&T Focus Areas consolidated to nine, including three new ones: Autonomy and Unmanned Systems, Assure Access to the Maritime Battlespace, and Expeditionary and Irregular Warfare
  • Emphasis on science, technology, engineering and mathematics initiatives aimed at inspiring young people's interest in these fields.


Contact: Peter Vietti
Office of Naval Research

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