Citizenship requirement for DoD research funding a barrier, says Gansler


Requirements by the departments of Defense and Energy that federally-funded research be conducted by U.S. citizens creates an unnecessary barrier to development, said Jacques Gansler, a former undersecretary of defense for acquisition, technology and logistics and current University of Maryland academic.

Gansler spoke Nov. 18 before a House Armed Services defense industry panel hearing. The citizenship requirement "doesn't make sense to me when so large a share of the really outstanding science and engineering students, and graduate students particularly, are non-U.S [citizens]," he said.

Enrico Fermi was not an American citizen when he worked on the Manhattan Project, Gansler said. And President Ronald Reagan--who was "not an ultra-liberal"--established policy in NSD-189 that fundamental research should be free, open and publishable, Gansler added.

During the hearing, David Berteau, a former principal deputy assistant secretary of defense for production and logistics and current senior vice president at the Center for Strategic and International Studies, also expressed concern about the current state of Defense research and development.

The R&D budget, Berteau said, "is at a historic low" as a percentage of total contract dollars spent, even when classified contracting spending is used to make that calculation.

For more:
- watch the hearing on YouTube

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