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DOD to set up SDI institute.

DOD to set up SDI institute

The Department of Defense (DOD) recently announced that it intends to establish a small "technical support" institute to evaluate technologies being considered for ballistic missile defense as part of its Strategic Defense Initiative (SDI). Specifically, the institute would plan for technology tests and evaluation; frame issues for SDI's administrators; see that DOD's contractors and researchers coordinate efforts; and maintain a data base on active SDI projects and capabilities.

In a May 30 assessment of the proposal, the Congressional Research Service (CRS) of the Library of Congress identified several concerns. For example, say the report's authors, these small, federally funded research and development centers, while greatly influencing the direction of millions if not billions of dollar worth of research, development and engineering within their funding agencies, tend to be "insulated from certain aspects of a competitive environment, such as peer review and incentives for increasing cost-efficiency." CRS authors Cosmo Di Maggio and Michael E. Davey also consider it "doubtful" that any single organization can acquire the number of top analysts -- across the breadth of disciplines SDI spans -- for this institute to perform its stated functions.
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Title Annotation:Department of Defense, Stratergic Defense Initiative
Publication:Science News
Date:Jul 5, 1986
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