The Pentagon on Tuesday released a science and technology (S&T) strategy aimed at focusing the Defense Department around three key lines of effort including the joint mission, rapidly transitioning new technologies into the field, and bolstering the talent and infrastructure that are the foundation of research and development.

The 2023 National Defense Science and Technology Strategy builds on the 2022 National Defense Strategy that identifies China as the pacing threat to the U.S. and directs closer collaboration with international allies and partners. The new S&T strategy commits the DoD to working more closely with the private sector and non-traditional defense innovators, and international allies and partners.

“Our allies are featured very strongly in here and it is a centerpiece of the National Defense Strategy and the department is serious about stepping out in that way,” Nina Kollars, adviser to Under Secretary of Defense for Research and Engineering Heidi Shyu, told reporters on Monday prior to the release of the strategy.

Kollars said the emphasis on international collaboration and the “focus on the joint mission and a commitment to analytic rigor” set the new strategy apart from previous S&T strategies.

Kollars said that DoD will invest in modeling and simulation to conduct the “rigorous analysis” that “will help us identify what it is exactly we should be getting after in terms of budgetary investments, which then necessarily make it easier to prototype, experiment and transition.” The strategy says a “modern digital infrastructure” is critical for data collection and analytic rigor.

“We must make foundational investments in the equipment and facilities to discover and test new capabilities,” the strategy says. “Our infrastructure needs to be modernized to enable tests that model the Joint Force’s ability to fight through network degradation.”

Furthering the joint mission line of effort will also require joint experimentation, which will help transition joint warfighting concepts into capabilities, it says.

The strategy essentially codifies some of DoD’s messaging over at least the past few years if not longer. For example, during the Obama administration, then Secretary of Defense Ash Carter launched the Defense Innovation Unit Experimental to tap into the commercial high-technology sector to meet defense needs. Those efforts continue and DoD has expanded the pathways for non-traditional defense companies to enter the defense arena through relatively new efforts such as the U.S. Fifth Fleet’s Task Force 59 that works with new companies and legacy defense contractors to demonstrate and exercise unmanned systems integrated with artificial intelligence, and the Air Force’s AFWERX innovation arm that engages with entrepreneurs and start-ups outside of the traditional acquisition process.

“The DoD cannot afford for useful research to languish in the laboratory, for bureaucratic processes to prevent engagement with innovative private companies, or to allow old paradigms to prevent collaboration with some of our most trusted partners,” the new strategy says. “Instead, the DoD will make the changes necessary to foster a more vibrant ecosystem that brings in new partners to grow our research and collaboration base.”

DoD within 90 days will deliver to Congress and implementation plan for the strategy that will have “metrics aligned to the department’s planning processes,” she said.