The Environmental Security Technology Certification Programs (ESTCP & SERDP)

The Environmental Security Technology Certification Programs (ESTCP & SERDP)

The Strategic Environmental Research and Development Program (SERDP) and Environmental Security Technology Certification Program (ESTCP) are the Department of Defense`s environmental and energy research programs, harnessing the latest science and technology to improve DoD’s environmental performance, reduce costs, and enhance and sustain mission capabilities. The Programs respond to environmental technology requirements that are common to all of the military Services, complementing the Services’ research programs. SERDP and ESTCP promote partnerships and collaboration among academia, industry, the military Services, and other Federal agencies. They are independent programs managed from a joint office to coordinate the full spectrum of efforts, from basic and applied research to field demonstration and validation.

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SERDP and ESTCP harness the latest science and technology to develop and demonstrate innovative, cost-effective, and sustainable solutions to meet DoD’s environmental challenges.


Environmental Security Technology Certification Program (ESTCP) is DoD’s environmental technology demonstration and validation program. The Program was established in 1995 to promote the transfer of innovative technologies that have successfully established proof of concept to field or production use. ESTCP demonstrations collect cost and performance data to overcome the barriers to employ an innovative technology because of concerns regarding technical or programmatic risk, the so-called “Valley of Death.”

ESTCP Strategy

The Program’s goal is to identify and demonstrate the most promising innovative and cost-effective technologies and methods that address DoD’s high-priority environmental requirements. Projects conduct formal demonstrations at DoD facilities and sites in operational settings to document and validate improved performance and cost savings. To ensure the demonstrated technologies have a real impact, ESTCP collaborates with end-users and regulators throughout the development and execution of each demonstration. Transition challenges are overcome with rigorous and well-documented demonstrations that provide the information needed by all stakeholders for acceptance of the technology.


ESTCP issues an annual solicitation for proposals from the Federal government, academia, and industry and employs a competitive selection process to ensure that ESTCP funds high-quality demonstrations. ESTCP requires each project to develop a formal test and evaluation plan. Demonstration results are subject to rigorous technical reviews to ensure that the conclusions are accurate and well supported by data.

Management Structure

  • ESTCP Directors and Staff – ESTCP is managed by a Director and Deputy Director, five Program Managers, and a Financial Officer. The ESTCP office is co-located with the Strategic Environmental Research and Development Program (SERDP) in Alexandria, VA.More
  • ESTCP Technical Committees – ESTCP relies on the technical skills offered by the participating Services to assist in the technical aspects of program development, project selection, program monitoring, and technology transfer. More
  • ESTCP Program Areas – ESTCP projects are managed within five Program Areas.
    • Installation Energy and Water
    • Environmental Restoration
    • Munitions Response
    • Resource Conservation and Resiliency
    • Weapons Systems and Platforms
The Strategic Environmental Research and Development Program(SERDP) is DoD’s environmental science and technology program, planned and executed in partnership with DOE and EPA, with participation by numerous other federal and non-federal organizations. SERDP invests across a broad spectrum of basic and applied research, as well as advanced development.

Program Goals

SERDP focuses on cross-Service requirements and pursues solutions to the Department’s environmental challenges. The development and application of innovative environmental technologies will reduce the costs, environmental risks, and time required to resolve environmental problems while, at the same time, enhancing and sustaining military readiness.

SERDP Process

SERDP issues an annual solicitation for proposals from the Federal government, academia, and industry and employs a competitive selection process to ensure that SERDP funds the highest quality research.

Authorizing Legislation

Congress established SERDP in 1990 to address DoD environmental issues. The Department of Energy (DOE) and the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) share management authority and responsibility with DoD. A truly integrated program, SERDP involves all three agencies in the development of its research agenda and management of resulting projects. Designed to address issues common across all of the Armed Services and DOE, the Program is a catalyst for cooperation and collaboration.

Management Structure

SERDP is funded by DoD with oversight and policy guidance from the SERDP Council, which is composed of members from the DoD, DOE, and EPA. The SERDP Executive Director, Deputy Director, and Program Managers lead the day-to-day Program activities. A Scientific Advisory Board (SAB) provides advice and recommendations to the SERDP Council on the technical quality of proposals and projects. The SERDP Council and Executive Director established the organizational structure shown below to execute the Program.

SERDP and ESTCP respond directly to defense environmental requirements generated by the Services and sanctioned by the Office of the Assistant Secretary of Defense for Energy, Installations and Environment. Both programs use a competitive process to maintain high technical quality and solicit on focused topics to ensure relevance to DoD’s needs. Together the two programs sponsor a spectrum of investments from high risk proof-of-concept research to the demonstration of field-ready technologies.

Defense environmental requirements are far ranging. Some address DoD-unique liabilities related to munitions and weapons platforms. Others, such as chlorinated solvents or endangered species, represent environmental problems for which DoD holds a substantial liability or commitment, but also affect entities outside DoD. SERDP and ESTCP research addresses a broad spectrum of these requirements, with special emphasis on needs that cut across the services. We balance long-term investments in hard problems with the agility to tackle new requirements as they arise.

Our investment strategy is shaped by translating broad requirements to specific research needs. We support basic and applied research that is both closely tied to end-user requirements and makes distinguished contributions to environmental science and technology. A user-inspired research strategy allows for ready transition – new solutions make an immediate impact in real-world applications.