NDIA's ETI calls for new software advisory board in defense department

Coding The Future: Recommendations For Defense Software R&D

A new workshop report from NDIA and Carnegie Mellon University tackles software policy and technical challenges.

ARLINGTON, VA – The National Defense Industrial Association’s Emerging Technologies Institute (ETI) has called for a new software advisory board in the defense department, as part of a set of recommendations from a newly-released workshop report, “Coding The Future: Recommendations For Defense Software R&D.” 

The report is the outcome of a workshop held in November 2022 hosted by the National Defense Industrial Association’s (NDIA) Emerging Technologies Institute (ETI) in collaboration with Carnegie Mellon University’s (CMU) Software Engineering Institute SEI, the Department of Defense’s (DoD) software-focused Federally Funded Research and Development Center. The workshop focused on the challenges and opportunities associated with ensuring that software capabilities provide a competitive advantage to national defense. 


“The Pentagon has identified software as a critical technology area, since it clearly enables the advanced capabilities of our defense systems and platforms,” NDIA’s ETI Executive Director, Dr. Arun Seraphin said. “This workshop report includes key recommendations by technical experts from NDIA member companies and universities on how to best shape the defense department’s research and development activities in this sector.”


One recommendation is the establishment of a software-focused S&T advisory board, while others include:


  • Creating a process for uncovering and prioritizing long-term software-specific needs as a foundation for software S&T investments.

  • Developing tools to support software pipeline decisionmaking.

  • Prioritizing the development of capabilities that will enable the maximum possible use of commercially-driven AI-enabled tools.

  • Focusing on tools and capabilities that use automation to minimize the technical debt associated with legacy code.

  • Streamlining the Authority to Operate (ATO) process.

  • Exploring the creation of standards of requirements for evidence about software systems.


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Topics: DOD Policy