Science and R&D

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

Because of the sequester, NSF will give out about 1,000 fewer research grants and awards this year, affecting as many as 3,000 researchers.

According to Pew, in 2011 federal money accounted for more than $40 billion of the $65 billion universities spent on research. Like most other federal agencies, the National Institutes of Health must cut 5 percent of its budget to comply with sequestration. Because NIH funnels about 85 percent of its budget to researchers, it is already scaling back some grants, according to director Francis Collins. Meanwhile, the National Science Foundation, facing similar cuts, estimates it will give out about 1,000 fewer research grants and awards this year, affecting as many as 3,000 researchers.

America the Innovative?

The New York Times
Rob Atkinson points out that China is rapidly ramping up its research spending. “The Chinese have the ability to throw a lot of resources at this, and some will stick to the wall,” he says.

The Epistemic Sequester: Budget Cuts Kill an Important Statistical Program

April 1, 2013
| Blogs & Op-eds

After already slashing R&D funding, the Sequester is about to deliver another kick in the teeth to American competitiveness: it’s going to sharply reduce our ability to measure it. This one comes courtesy of the Bureau of Labor Statistics, whichannounced last month that the sequestration has forced it to eliminate itsInternational Labor Comparisons (ILC) program, a neat little database that adjusts foreign data to a common framework, allowing you to compare the traded sector health and competiveness of the United States against that of other countries.

Entitlements or Investment? Democrats Must Pick

March 27, 2013
| Blogs & Op-eds

In a piece for USA Today, Rob Atkinson argues that unless more older Americans work, pay taxes and take fewer benefits, the only realistic way to address the budget deficit will be more cuts in investment and core government programs.

Brainbox Nation

The Economist
Rob Atkinson is troubled by a number of related trends. America’s tax credit for R&D is relatively stingy, he notes, offsetting just 6% of the amount companies invest, compared with 14% in China and 29% in Denmark.

University Research Discovers Hard Truths of U.S. Budget Crisis

A report from ITIF says sequestration would leave the United States $511 billion behind in research and development investment, compared with expected growth in spending on research in China.

The Real Cost of the Sequester

March 6, 2013
| Blogs & Op-eds

By continuing to focus on the budget deficit alone, policymakers, advocacy groups, and commissions such as Simpson-Bowles and Domenici-Rivlin miss the broader problems the American economy faces. To ensure our overall economic health, we must address the stagnation of funding for innovation that is necessary to promote new business development, global competitiveness and job growth. Government should be focusing on reducing the investment and the budget deficits together, not implementing sledge-hammer budget cuts that will ultimately make our economy weaker.

Why Private Companies Won't Make Up for Cuts in Government Science Funding

Bloomberg Businessweek
ITIF calculates that the full weight of the research cuts could reduce U.S. gross domestic product by a minimum of $203 billion from now to 2021 and would result in 200,000 job losses this year alone.
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