This year, the Office of Naval Research is celebrating 70 years of innovation. For seven decades, ONR through its commands—including ONR Global and the Naval Research Laboratory in Washington, D.C.—has been leading the discovery, development and delivery of technology innovations for the Navy and Marine Corps.
It was in August 1946, just after the Second World War, that Congress mandated a new military command to identify and cultivate forward-looking science and technology capabilities, to ensure the superiority of U.S. warfighters.
ONR’s establishment in 1946 marked the first time a peacetime organization would use government funds to support civilian science and technology research at universities, laboratories and businesses.
Since that fateful year, the command, along with its Naval Research Enterprise organizations that include ONR Global and the Naval Research Laboratory, has played a leading role in many of the most important discoveries and inventions—from the earliest computer systems and software, to the exploration of the ocean’s depths, to new materials and sensors that have been integrated into everything from household items to warships.