STEM and Biotechnology Virtual Symposium

The Office of Under Secretary of Defense for Research and Engineering hosted the first virtual Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (STEM), and Biotechnology Virtual Symposium, September 24.

“The Department of Defense’s investments in STEM have produced many inspirational discoveries and transformative technological advances for our military, that have in turn helped our Nation develop the world’s most innovative and competitive economy,” said Dr. Mark Lewis, acting Deputy Under Secretary of Defense for Research and Engineering.  “We are now focusing STEM efforts on Biotechnology, with the promise of delivering breakthrough capabilities spanning medicine, chem-bio defense, new materials, and advanced manufacturing. Given the lessons we are learning in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic, no topic is more timely nor more critical.”

Dr. Michelle Rozo, Principal Director, Biotechnology; Dr. Jag Pamulapati, Director, DoD Laboratories and Personnel; and Louie Lopez, Director, DoD STEM, led discussions on the areas of biotechnology, DoD laboratories and personnel, and STEM and civics outreach initiatives.

The interactive workshop stimulated discussions in three focus areas: the creation of impactful STEM education experiences for students and teachers, the current landscape of biotechnology and education needed to support a biotechnology literate nation, and programs to provide enhanced civics education in collaboration with the DoD Education Activity and Junior Reserve Officers’ Training Corps.

The participants consisted of STEM, civics and biotechnology practitioners, and stakeholders from DoD, the United States Government, non-profits, members from the industry and academia, educators, and education researchers.

“To preserve America’s technological advantage in defense of our Nation, the Department is modernizing across the board in areas such as hypersonics, 5G communications, artificial intelligence, and of course, biotechnology. This starts with a firm commitment to investing in the development of our Nation’s STEM talent” said Lewis.

Funding opportunities are expected in the areas of STEM, Biotechnology, and Civics Education and Workforce Development by December 2020.  Interested researchers should monitor for these future funding announcements.

Download the Agenda (PDF)

The Office of the Under Secretary of Defense for Research and Engineering (OUSD(R&E)) is responsible for the research, development, and prototyping activities across the Department of Defense.  OUSD(R&E) fosters technological dominance across the DOD ensuring the unquestioned superiority of the American joint force.  Learn more at or follow us on Twitter:  @DoDCTO.