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Future Directions Workshops

“Innovation is the key to the future, but basic research is the key to future innovation." 
–Jerome Isaac Friedman, Nobel Prize Recipient (1990)

Over the past century, science and technology has brought remarkable new capabilities to all sectors of the economy; from telecommunications, energy, and electronics to medicine, transportation and defense. Technologies that were fantasy decades ago, such as the internet and mobile devices, now inform the way we live, work, and interact with our environment. Key to this technological progress is the capacity of the global basic research community to create new knowledge and to develop new insights in science, technology, and engineering. Understanding the trajectories of this fundamental research, within the context of global challenges, empowers stakeholders to identify and seize potential opportunities.

The Future Directions Workshop series, sponsored by the Basic Research Office of the Office of the Under Secretary of Defense for Research and Engineering, seeks to examine emerging research and engineering areas that are most likely to transform future technology capabilities. Rather than a standard conference format, these workshops are designed primarily around small-group breakout sessions and whole-group discussions for scientists and engineers from academia, national laboratories, and industry to express their perspectives and outlooks over areas of rapid progress in fundamental research and shed insight on three overarching questions:

• How might the research impact science and technology capabilities of the future?
• What is the possible trajectory of scientific achievement over the next 10–15 years?
• What are the most fundamental challenges to progress?

Ideas for Workshop topics can be submitted here.   
 


 

Past Workshops

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2019

Social
Science


 
2018

Synthetic Biology for
Energy and Power


 
2016

 Network 
Sciences


 
2016

Quantum Information
Sciences


 
 2016

Power & Energy: Advances
 from 
Photonic Sciences 
& Applications

 
2016

Compressed Sensing & 
Integration of Sensing 
& Processing


 
 2015

Computer 
Vision



 
2015

Foundations of Intelligent 
Sensing, Action & Learning
 



 
2013 

Chemical Engineering 
& Bioengineering



 
2012

Selected Topics in 
Mechanical & 
Civil Engineering


 
 2012

Neuroscience: What can 
we know by 2025?
2011

Mathematics

 
 2011

Selected Topics in 
Computer Science
2011

Engineered (Synthetic) 
Biology 
2011