Reggie Brothers Discusses R&D and NDAA provision

In an interview with “Government Matters,” Reggie Brothers, principal at the Chertoff Group, discussed the cost of research and development within the Defense Department.

This interview comes after Sen. Jeff Flake, R-Ariz., added a provision to the National Defense Authorization Act that would require DOD to include price tags for research projects and other R&D work.

This provision aims to gain some clarity on the return on investment on these projects. Brothers says this provision is unclear if it will provide transparency in the value of these projects yield.

“One of the challenges with research is that it’s diffuse,” he said. “So, you could start out with a certain goal, a certain price tag, and it’s unclear where that’s going to go.”

When asked about who should pay for DOD’s R&D, Brothers said it depends on what technology is being discussed.

“Sometimes, the commercial technology doesn’t necessarily meet the kind of requirements the government has — that’s an area the government needs to put money,” he said.

In the coming weeks, Brothers plans to watch how well pilots by the Defense Innovation Unit Experimental and In-Q-Tel, among others, are adopted into the procurement process.

To watch the full interview, click here.


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