Mapping the National Security Industrial Base Center for Strategic and International Studies


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The term “National Security Industrial Base” (NSIB) appeared in the 2018 National Security Strategy. The NSIB is the “network of knowledge, capabilities, and people—including academia, National Laboratories, and the private sector—that turns ideas into innovations [and] transforms discoveries into successful commercial products.” This report outlines elements of the NSIB and how a commercially driven innovation differs from a defense-centric approach to technology. The U.S. innovation ecosystem is based on a mix of strong research universities, flexible financial systems, a competitive business focus, and risk-taking, entrepreneurial culture that is skilled at commercializing research. Other countries have similar strengths, but not at the same scale.

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