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Will Communities Feel the Pinch from a Decline in the Pentagon’s R&D Spending?

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  • January 9, 2012
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The promise of an 8 percent drop in DOD spending over the coming decade may have an outsized impact on many of the nation’s high-tech clusters.

Military research dollars are partially responsible for the development of Silicon Valley, the Research Triangle in North Carolina, the Route 128 corridor outside Boston and a variety of companies in Northern Virginia, reported the New York Times. The nation’s economic growth, along with the Pentagon, has benefited tremendously from the department’s research efforts.

While reductions in military spending in the past have led to declines in R&D spending as well, the strategy the Pentagon unveiled last week stressed that officials would try to maintain DOD’s investment in science and technology.

“That’s the seed corn of the future. We want to make sure we don’t eat the seed corn,” Ashton Carter, deputy defense secretary, said last week.

The department spends about 12 percent of its budget on R&D, totaling $81 billion last year.

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