The Defense Department’s (DoD) research and engineering arm wants to up the ante on microelectronics, 5G telecommunications technology, and hypersonics in Fiscal Year 2023, Under Secretary of Defense for Research and Engineering Heidi Shyu said April 20.

DoD’s Science and Technology (S&T) budget request for fiscal year (FY) 2023 includes a 12 percent bump over the FY2022 budget request across the department, with the Office of the Secretary of Defense for Research and Engineering (OSD R&E) in line for a 21 percent increase to its S&T budget if the requested funding ends up being approved.

“There’s a real focus on onshoring the microelectronics activities and increasing what we’re doing in that area,” Shyu said at a National Defense Industrial Association webinar. “There’s an increase in directed energy, as well as hypersonics, integrated sensing and cyber, integrated network systems and systems, advanced materials, as well as biotech. Those are kind of the big pieces, big muscle movements.”

Shyu said that in terms of critical technology investments, the microelectronics sector makes up 40 percent of the FY2023 request for her office, with 5G technology making up 12 percent and representing the next largest area of investment. Beyond that, she listed hypersonics and directed energy as the next two largest areas of focus.

OSD R&E also is seeking a big increase to its basic research budget, though that isn’t reflected across the entire DoD. Department-wide, basic research received a four percent bump in its FY2023 budget request when compared to FY2022 levels. For OSD R&E, the proposed basic research budget represents a 23 percent increase from FY2022 levels.

“That is a huge jump in basic research,” she said.

Shyu said the other area her office is focused on is the Test Resource Management Center, which would receive a 42 percent increase in investment under the FY2023 proposed budget, bringing the total investment to $1.2 billion. She said this is a result of the office’s increased investment in hypersonics.

Other investment areas include cybersecurity, STEM research, and funding research at Historically Black Colleges and Universities, she said.

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Lamar Johnson
Lamar Johnson
Lamar Johnson is a MeriTalk Senior Technology Reporter covering the intersection of government and technology.