Each year the Homeland Defense and Security Information Analysis Center partners with academic, industry and government organizations to research, develop and produce two state of the art reports. These SOARs highlight emerging trends in HDIAC’s focus areas and posture future needs and requirements to ensure the Department of Defense is best prepared for technological developments.
The SOARs also help meet the Better Buying Power 3.0 objective of achieving dominant capabilities through technical excellence and innovation. Specifically, leveraging the knowledge gained and connections developed will assist the government in working toward incentivizing productivity and innovation.
One of HDIAC’s SOARs looks at uses of nanotechnology for military surface applications. The report sought to identify and understand how the Department of Defense can utilize nanotechnology, the manipulation of matter on an atomic scale to create new materials, to improve the functionality of surfaces, particularly those with military and defense relevance. The report’s authors researched emerging technology of great interest to the DoD and identified applications near commercialization, while also identifying products available within the past three years.
Better Buying Power 3.0 acknowledges the “DoD’s military products are developed and fielded on time scales that are much longer than some commercial development timelines, particularly those associated with electronics, information technology, and related technologies.” By researching and reporting on innovations as they approach readiness, HDIAC is able to incentivize productivity by identifying nanotechnology products that could be of use to the DoD in the immediate or near term.
These SOARs also help incentivize innovation by, “emphasiz[ing] technology insertion and refresh in program planning.”  The pace of research and development in nanotechnology is rapid; the SOAR assists the DoD in determining where the focus should be. Whereas BBP 3.0 acknowledges IT and sensor technology refresh times of 18 months and 2-4 years, respectively, nanotechnology
developments occur on a daily to weekly basis.
The overall goal of the nanotechnology report is to give the DoD a list of products and technologies to focus on or consider utilizing. The report streamlines the research agenda so the military is
not focused on basic or applied research that will not have near term applications or commercial relevance. The products discussed in the report are soon to be released and have possible relevance and application for military initiatives.
Information presented in this SOAR provides two key advantages to ensuring DoD mission readiness and strengthening acquisition strategy. First, by gathering data on products that are commercially available or near-commercialization, HDIAC provides a procurement list of sorts and conducts a comparison analysis of relevant and commercially viable technologies that DoD has
readily available and can use to streamline its purchasing strategy for new nanotechnology- related products. Next, research information presented in the SOAR that is not currently viable for commercial development, as it is still more than two years away from practical application, can be used by DoD to address gaps in research strategy needed to drive particular applications of basic and applied nanotechnology research into commercialization faster. Future HDIAC SOARs will continue to connect ongoing technological advancements with government needs and requirements, thereby meeting the BBP objectives.
1. Under Secretary of Defense. (2015, April 9). Implementation Directive for Better Buying Power 3.0 – Achieving Dominant Capabilities Through Technical Excellence and Innovation.
Retrieved from http://www.acq.osd.mil/fo/docs/betterBuyingPower3.0(9Apr15).pdf (accessed January 10, 2017).