The Director of Defense Research and Engineering coordinates department-wide S&T, including supervision of DARPA and the R&D activities of the individual armed services.
In July 2009, DDR&E introduced four Imperatives to focus the organization in support of the immediate and
future needs of the Department of Defense:
- Accelerate delivery of technical capabilities to win the current fight
- Prepare for an uncertain future
- Reduce the cost, acquisition time and risk of our major defense acquisition programs
- Develop world class science, technology, engineering, and mathematics capabilities for the DoD and the Nation
I think that to measure their progress against that last goal, they need to evaluate where the US stands relative to others. The Congress seems to agree. Here is the text of a law (10 C 2365) that establishes a Global Research Watch Program.
(6) To establish and maintain an electronic database on international research capabilities, comparative assessments of capabilities, cooperative research opportunities, and ongoing cooperative programs.
(2) The Secretaries of the military departments and the directors of the Defense Agencies shall provide the Director of Defense Research and Engineering such assistance as the Director may require for purposes of the program.
(e) Classification of Database Information.— Information in electronic databases of the Global Research Watch program shall be maintained in unclassified form and, as determined necessary by the Director, in classified form in such databases.
R. D. Shelton