Presentation on theme: "Defense R&D Policies Fifty years of History Guillermo A. Lemarchand Universidad de Buenos Aires, Argentina INES Council Meeting, Berlin, Germany June 1."— Presentation transcript:
Defense R&D Policies Fifty years of History Guillermo A. Lemarchand Universidad de Buenos Aires, Argentina INES Council Meeting, Berlin, Germany June 1 - 4, 2007
A first approach relation between R&D and the exponential growth of weapons lethality maximum number of casualties per hour that a weapon can generate The theoretical Lethality Index was proposed by Colonel T.N. Dupuy (1979) as the maximum number of casualties per hour that a weapon can generate, considering: rate of fire, number of targets, relative effectiveness, range effects, muzzle effects, accuracy, reliability, etc. During the XX Century the lethality growth of the weapons was 60,000,000
The first complete description about how the DoD selects R&D projects for funding was published in SCIENCE by Glantz & Albers, vol. 186; pp. 706- 711 (Nov. 1974).
How the Defense R&D Policy is decided? Based in A.W. Fountain (2005)
How the R&D proposals are selected When the operational objectives are defined 20 years ahead, these objectives defined technologies to satisfied those operational objectives (i.e. Joint Vision 2020) In this way a Defense S&T Strategy is defined in order to developed the specific technologies that are needed for the future operational objectives The Defense S&T Strategy is divided in a Basic Research Plan, Defense Technology Area Plan and a Joint Warfighting S&T Plan
How the R&D proposals are selected A research office (i.e. ONR, ARO or AFOSR) compares the technical requirements with the state-of-the-art technologies and the R&D resources available (e.g using sophisticated data mining sources). They finally defined a threshold for the requirements for any research proposal to be funded. They administer a two-part review process to choose proposals to fund: (a) Several NAS and NRC consider the proposals for scientific merit and (b) scientists in the military laboratory supporting work systems which require the new capabilities judge whether or not successful completion of the proposed work will help their work Only those proposals that have the highest levels at both review systems are funded.
With data mining techniques it is possible to find which researcher –at any place- is more close to solve the type of problems that Military engineers are facing in order to develop a new technology. Military laboratories have been employing these techniques for decades
Where the R&D capabilities are found? Since the late fifties and early sixties, the R&D are found world wide The First Latin Office for finding the R&D human resources that could be interesting for several military projects started working at Rio de Janeiro, Brazil in 1961. Several Latin American prominent scientists received ONR, AFOSR, ARO grants, such as Huberto Maturama, Carlos Chagas, Eduardo De Robertis, Rolando García (during the sixties), etc. In the last 5 years intensive activities were performed to find human resources in nanoscience and nanotechnologies, biotechnologies, network theoretical frameworks, etc, offices were opened in Santiago (Chile) and Buenos Aires (Argentina)
The military laboratories contact the individual researchers and offer them the possibility of receiving important grants (in regional terms) to perform specific basic science that could be published in mainstream journals. Usually the local authorities of the S&T System are not totally aware about the existence of these R&D projects. This was the case in Argentina (2005) Some researchers perceive that receiving grants from external military laboratories implies certain recognition of the quality of their work and so they think that is prestigious to receive this kind of grants. For most of them, the only important thing is that these grants allow the purchase of state-of-the-art instrumental devises to perform new and original experiments
A draft of a project of bill to regulate this type of military laboratories grants was prepared by the National Secretary of Science, Technology and Innovation of Argentina in 2006 and discussed by the leaders of the Argentine institutions of R&D The scientists (chairmen of the R&D institutions) recommended the National Secretary of S&T not to submit the project to the Parliament, because this could avoid the reception of external new research funds…and eventually discuss each individual case within the National Ethical Committee on S&T.
The lack of awareness about how a military laboratory research grants are assigned is one of the reasons why most of the scientists does not care the origins of the research funds. The possibility of obtaining substantial grants to perform original work and the possibility to get prestigious with peers is a very intense driving force that we should take into consideration More research in these topics and a broad discussion among the scientific and technological community about the ethical consequences of these actions is needed.