Technology-based companies such as Raytheon use research and technology development as the basis for new products and product upgrades. For a company to be successful, its technology portfolio needs to balance both near-term and long-term needs. Executing a strategy that optimizes for both has never been more important. We’re operating in an environment where technology is advancing at unprecedented speed and competition is fierce. Companies are competing to extend their existing programs and win new ones that will fuel growth for decades to come. Technology development is often a deciding factor in these contests.
At a practical level, technologies are most valuable when they address a customer need. At Raytheon, we ensure this happens by creating a balanced portfolio of investments and seeking customer engagement, as well as funding, throughout the lifecycle. Our approach for unlocking the value of technologies comprises several key elements. Leaders from engineering and technology work with various partners — including universities, research labs and start-ups — to ensure we have visibility into emerging technology. We execute a disciplined technology planning and development process that includes competitive assessments and technology road maps. Subject matter experts from across the company collaborate on a regular and ongoing basis to share knowledge and identify our strengths and gaps proactively to guide investments. We pursue contract research and development programs to help fund technology maturation while also gaining sponsorship from our government customers. Finally, we invest across the continuum; making big bets at the right time while continuing to explore the potential of newer technologies and maturing them to support product growth.
In this edition of Technology Today we explore some of the many areas of research and collaboration key to developing the mission critical solutions Raytheon products bring to the global defense industry. Our feature articles highlight research in advanced circuit technologies, such as three dimensional heterogeneous integration, wide bandgap semiconductors and photonic integrated circuits. These efforts are creating opportunity for improvements in the areas of directed energy; radio frequency, electro-optical and infrared sensing; and power electronics. We also discuss recent research activities in cybersecurity for weapon systems and the challenging embedded processor environment. In our Eye On Technology section we look at nanotechnology, the ability to manipulate materials on the scale of tens to hundreds of atoms, which has opened new doors to research and development across a broad range of the physical, electronic and chemical sciences with application in both commercial and military industries.
Wrapping up this edition is a discussion of our research partnership with the California Institute of Technology’s Center for Autonomous Systems and Technologies, one of our more than 75 academic partner institutions, and an insightful look at the Raytheon Innovation Challenge, a companywide initiative soliciting unique technical ideas and solutions to address our customer’s most challenging needs.
– Mark E. Russell
Vice President of Engineering, Technology and Mission Assurance