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Today's research, tomorrow's breakthroughs.

Vannevar Bush stated in his seminal report, Science: the Endless Frontier that:

“Basic research leads to new knowledge. It provides scientific capital. It creates the fund from which the practical applications of knowledge must be drawn. New products and new processes do not appear full-grown. They are founded on new principles and new conceptions, which in turn are painstakingly developed by research in the purest realms of science.”

It is with these concepts in mind, that the Basic Research Office (BRO) approaches its role in oversight and management of DoD’s basic research investments. Additionally, BRO sets scientific priorities aimed toward ensuring DoD is a leader in scientific discovery and identifying new paths for investigation. The office is responsible for setting Department policy for grants, and manages programs including: the Vannevar Bush Faculty Fellowship, the Minerva Research Initiative, Historically Black Colleges & Universities/Minority Institutions (HBCU/MI) Programas well as a number of pilot programs meant to rethink the Department’s approach to managing and maturing basic research investments.

  • The Defense Established Program to Simulate Competitive Research (DEPSCoR) aims to increase the number of university researchers and improve the capabilities of institutions of higher education in eligible jurisdictions to perform competitive basic research in science & engineering relevant to the DoD mission and reflect national security priorities.

  • STIX
    The Science, Technology, Innovation Exchange (STIX) was originally piloted in 2017, with the intent of communicating the big ideas, positive social impacts, and disruptive capabilities that have resulted from DoD S&T investments.  The event included a series of lightning (up to 12 minute) talks in fields of science, technology, and STEM, that were presented by DoD personnel and DoD sponsored participants, from across the Department and that span careers from graduate students to senior researchers.
  • Defense Enterprise Science Initiative (DESI)
    The Defense Enterprise Science Initiative (DESI) pilot program aims to fund projects that bring together industry and university teams to look for new solutions to challenging defense and national security problems, with the aim of accelerating the impact of basic research on defense capabilities.  Five DESI awards were recently announced - visit the page to learn more about the program and the teams. 
  • I-Corps @ DoD

    I-Corps @ DoD is a partnership with the National Science Foundation to provide DoD-funded researchers with training from experienced entrepreneurs in how to commercialize their innovations. BRO is also looking to establish bridges that will allow teams who have completed the training to more seamlessly mature innovations into products that may enter DoD programs of record. 

  • The Laboratory University Collaboration Initiative (LUCI)
    The Laboratory University Collaboration Initiative (LUCI) started in 2016 to identify, and competitively fund, three-year basic research collaborations between leading scientists at the DoD laboratories and the Vannevar Bush fellows at US universities in fields of critical interest to the Department.
  • Bilateral Academic Research Initiative (BARI)

    The Bilateral Academic Research Initiative (BARI) focuses on high-risk basic research in science and engineering as a bilateral academic collaboration, and supports academic teams to combine unique skillsets and approaches and provide rapid advances in scientific areas of mutual potential interest to both countries.

Basic Research News

DoD Laboratory Scientist of the Quarter Award - Fourth Quarter FY18 Story

2015 Vannevar Bush Fellow, Dr. Teri Odom, Develops Nanoscale Metalense Optical Elements Story

Team led by Dr. Charles Lieber, 2009 Vannevar Bush Fellow, designs neuron-mimicking probes with increased viability for long-term use Story

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2019 VBFF Spotlight: Dr. Jian Cao is working to create a tool that uses physics to relate materials and manufacturi… https://t.co/YbZY0QCjNw
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2019 VBFF spotlight: Dr. Andrea Alù will study how heat flows in exotic nanoengineered materials. Potential applica… https://t.co/0S9cXuWveP
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The event showcases and connects the brightest minds supported by DOD that allows researchers to communicate new id… https://t.co/Yht4vj1wjn
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STIx on the Hill is a Congressional briefing convened in support of DOD’s Research and Engineering components that… https://t.co/oBu8KRy8fd
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