We are living in a time of unprecedented change. Science and technology (S&T) are developing and proliferating faster than ever before and have become a new domain of international competition. New adversaries have emerged, alongside traditional threats, who actively undermine our democracy and society, supported by substantial and rapidly modernising militaries. Terrorist groups and non-state actors can access technologies and weapons far more sophisticated than before. The natural environment is challenging us with a global pandemic and we have reached the tipping point where decisive action on climate change is required.
The MOD Science and Technology Strategy 2020 sets out how MOD will secure and maintain scientific and technological advantage in future:
by prioritising investment to focus on the long term and adopting a challenge-led approach, defence aims to anticipate and shape new technologies and applications of technology, and to build the expertise, policies, and military concepts needed to take advantage of them as soon as they are ready
MOD will balance this challenge-led approach with a technology push to pursue promising technology or scientific disciplines which offer significant potential to allow them to be integrated into military capability as they mature. MOD will look to collaborate widely but effectively, sharing the effort and sharing knowledge where it in the UK’s interest to do so
extracting greatest value and impact from defence research also means effectively curating and using the data generated: sharing it appropriately, developing understanding from it, and exploiting it to inform decisions faster than adversaries and competitors.
In an uncertain and rapidly-changing world, we can’t afford to be always on the back foot, fighting the latest challenge. This strategy sets out how I intend defence will get ahead of the game and start actively shaping the future.