White House Reveals Critical and Emerging Technologies (CTE) List
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Key Details: Earlier in February, the White House released a report regarding Critical and Emerging Technologies (CETs) that are significant to national security. This list builds upon the initial high priority list issued in October 2020 and was developed by the National Science and Technology Council and the National Security Council. This report will be used to inform forthcoming U.S. technological competitiveness and national security strategies.

What are Critical and Emerging Technologies & How Will They Be Used?

CETs are subsets of advanced technologies that will be used for three national security objectives as defined by the 2021 Interim National Security Strategic Guidance. Security objectives include:

  • Protecting the security of the American people
  • Expanding economic prosperity and opportunity
  • Realizing and defending democratic values

Critical and Emerging Technologies Areas of Importance

This updated report expands upon the October 2020 list, providing additional subfields for each category and identifying core technology focuses rather than technology application areas. The CET list includes the following areas of importance:

  • Advanced computing, engineering materials, gas turbine engine technologies, manufacturing, and nuclear energy technologies
  • Advanced and networked sensing and signature management
  • Artificial intelligence
  • Autonomous systems and robotics
  • Biotechnologies
  • Communication and networking technologies
  • Directed energy
  • Financial technologies
  • Human-machine interfaces
  • Hypersonics
  • Networked sensors and sensing
  • Quantum information technologies
  • Renewable energy generation and storage
  • Semiconductors and microelectronics
  • Space technologies and systems

How Should Contractors Respond to Critical and Emerging Technologies List?

Contractors in the above categories are encouraged to review the full list of subfields to understand if their technologies and capabilities are aligned with the CETs goals. Furthermore, the U.S. Department of State has encouraged the government, private sector, and partners to understand and focus on developing the technologies that are critical to national security and economic prosperity.

The report indicates that this list should not be interpreted as priority areas for funding. However, it will be used as a resource to inform future efforts and initiatives. This CTE list also provides direction for startups to enter the contracting space and is crucial to the advancement of STEM and Innovation. Contractors are encouraged to review the full report here for further information.

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