Science and R&D

In an economy powered by innovation and technology, more proactive R&D policies are key to success.

Defense Innovation and the Future of American Competitiveness

The Challenges for America’s Defense Innovation

November 21, 2014
| Reports

 

From WWII to the 1957 launch of the Soviet Sputnik to the 1980s defense buildup, U.S. defense investments in research and development not only promoted American security and safety but made a major contribution to U.S. innovation and economic leadership, assisting in the development of a host of industry-defining technologies from the Internet to GPS to the laser. Yet since the end of Cold War, federal funding for R&D, including defense R&D, has increased much more gradually and recently has actually declined. In addition, the 2013 sequestration – which mandated automatic spending cuts numerous programs including defense research initiatives – has exacerbated the challenge.
This report takes a closer look at America’s defense innovation ecosystem, assessing the current state of U.S. military expenditures compared to historical averages and our international competitors. It then analyzes the impact of the sequestration and limited budgets, the decline of the industrial base for defense needs, and the erosion of domestic innovation generally on the health of the defense research enterprise. The United States defense system is still the most innovative in the world, but that leadership is not assured and is in danger of failing. This decline in leadership will not only impact defense innovation and capabilities, but also overall commercial innovation and U.S. competitiveness.

 

From WWII to the 1957 launch of the Soviet Sputnik to the 1980s defense buildup, U.S. defense investments in research and development not only promoted American security and safety but made a major contribution to U.S. innovation and economic leadership, assisting in the development of a host of industry-defining technologies from the Internet to GPS to the laser. Yet since the end of Cold War, federal funding for R&D, including defense R&D, has increased much more gradually and recently has actually declined. In addition, the 2013 sequestration – which mandated automatic spending cuts numerous programs including defense research initiatives – has exacerbated the challenge.

This report takes a closer look at America’s defense innovation ecosystem, assessing the current state of U.S. military expenditures compared to historical averages and our international competitors. It then analyzes the impact of the sequestration and limited budgets, the decline of the industrial base for defense needs, and the erosion of domestic innovation generally on the health of the defense research enterprise. The United States defense system is still the most innovative in the world, but that leadership is not assured and is in danger of failing. This decline in leadership will not only impact defense innovation and capabilities, but also overall commercial innovation and U.S. competitiveness.

GOP Takeover in Congress Could Bode Ill for Supercomputing and Science

Computer World
Republican control will raise questions about support for the tech economy through funding of science and research, education and training.

After Election 2014: R&D Tax Credit

Science
The U.S. ranks 27th, out of 42 nations, in the generosity of our R&D tax credit.

Next-Generation R&D Partnerships: The NCATS Success Story

October 29, 2014 - 10:00am - 11:30am
Rayburn House Office Building
45 Independence Ave SW
2168
Washington
DC
20515

A major challenge for federally funded research and technology is bridging the so-called "valley of death" - a state of development where many promising discoveries die because they are not sufficiently advanced to attract private sector partners or venture funding even though they may have tremendous potential impact. Read more »

Next-Generation R&D Partnerships: The NCATS Success Story

BRAIN Initiative Launches Moonshot to Explore the Frontier of the Mind

Tech Republic
Federal investments in R&D at universities lead directly to private sector spinoffs that have collectively generated hundreds of billions in economic value.

The Role of the DOE National Labs in the 21st Century Innovation Economy

September 16, 2014 - 9:00am - 10:00am
Rayburn House Office Building
45 Independence Ave SW
Room 2325
Washington
DC
20515

The Department of Energy’s National Laboratory system was originally developed around the Manhattan Project to assist in research related to the development of nuclear weapons. However, while the Labs’ image is often still based on this history, today the system is a central cog in America’s broader innovation ecosystem and a national driver of scientific and economic development. Read more »

Will The Next Silicon Valley Be Located in the United States?

September 12, 2014
| Blogs & Op-eds

As the world's largest R&D cluster, Silicon Valley brings untold economic benefits to the United States. The valley is also a prime example of how R&D in specific industries tends to stay tightly concentrated in a single region. Public support for R&D can help improve the odds that the next Silicon Valley is located in the United States. 

Going Local: Connecting the National Labs to their Regions for Innovation and Growth

September 10, 2014
| Reports

Since their inception in the 1940s, the Department of Energy (DOE) national laboratories have been in the vanguard of America’s global research and development leadership. However, the national innovation system has changed in the past 70 years. Today, much technology development and application occurs in the context of synergistic regional clusters of firms, trade associations, educational institutions, private labs, and regional economic development organizations. Unfortunately, legacy operating procedures limit the DOE labs’ ability to engage fully with the regional economies in which they are located. This lack of consistent engagement with regional technology clusters has likely limited the labs’ overall contributions to U.S. economic growth.

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