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.
Click the icons to read workshop reports