BALTIMORE -- An increasing fraction of the Global Science and Technology, or S&T, investment is made outside of the U.S. The DOD and services have many programs to facilitate international collaborations that allows the U.S. Army to leverage the Global S&T developments.

International collaboration in S&T programs solving critical communications and control challenges was discussed during a technical panel held during MILCOM 2016 at the Baltimore Convention Center Nov. 3.

The U.S. Army Materiel Command's Communications-Electronics Research, Development and Engineering Center, known as CERDEC, has been involved with international programs, and has seen a lot of opportunities internationally, said Dr. Mahbub Hoque, International Program & Global Technology Research chief and moderator of the International S&T Collaboration with Coalition Partners panel.

Hoque was joined by panelists Dr. Mark Hassler II, technology lead for the U.S. Army Research, Development and Engineering Command, or RDECOM, International Cooperation and Exchange; Dr. Edward Plichta, chief scientist for CERDEC's Command, Power and Integration Directorate; Dr. Jeffrey Boksiner, senior research scientist for CERDEC's Intelligence and Information Warfare Directorate; and Dr. John Matyjas, technical advisor for the U.S. Air Force Research Lab's Information Directorate whom all explored the international collaboration in S&T programs solving critical communication and control challenges.

In recent years, S&T development has been decreasing in the U.S., and increasing steadily in other parts of the world, mainly Asia. In order to continue developing state-of-the-art technology the Army is left with two options.

"We need to invest more in S&T so that everyone can benefit," Hoque said. "If we can't do that, we need to leverage the investment."

Currently, most of the work being completed in the field of power and is not being done domestically, Plichta said.

"Nearly all of the batteries that the military procures are manufactured in New York or in Asia," he added.

In order to continue to grow, the Army needs to start defining its capabilities and needs in S&T requirements. Then the Army can begin to develop a strategic coordination on where and who engineers can leverage these technologies from.

The advantage of leveraging the investment and working with international partners provides the Army has the ability to leverage new technology at a higher technology level, and not at the basic research level.

"We feel that we still have not tapped into the maximum opportunities we can leverage," Hoque said.
The Army is slated to work more closely with countries like India in 2017 to leverage technologies that are mutually beneficial to both companies.