“While we must effectively respond to China and others looking to do us harm, we must avoid inadvertently undermining the very policies which made us the leader in turning government funded R&D into cutting edge products. Unfortunately, the initial bureaucratic response is not reassuring on that score.”
When U.S. taxpayers send their hard-earned money to the government, they shouldn’t worry that it’s being used to fuel economic and military growth in China. But that’s exactly what’s happening today. Every year, more than $150 billion in U.S. taxpayer money goes towards cutting-edge research conducted at our excellent network of universities and research institutions, helping us remain the global leader in science and technology.
Expenditures in higher education R&D (HERD) grew in FY 2018, increasing by $4.1 billion over FY 2017, the largest year-over-year increase since FY 2010-2011 according to an SSTI analysis of recently released data from the National Science Foundation’s National Center for Science and Engineering Statistics.
The Federal government is making strides on its goal to support and advance the research and development of artificial intelligence (AI) technologies, according to the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy’s (OSTP’s) 2016-2019 Progress Report on Advancing Artificial Intelligence R&D, released today.
The importance of business and industry R&D investment for competitiveness and economic growth is a well-entrenched dictum of national and state innovation policy across most of the developed world. Approaches for incentivizing increased research expenditures fall into two broad categories, direct grants and subsidies to offset R&D costs or R&D tax credits companies may take post-investment for research expenditures.
Innovation has always relied, to some degree, on government support. But a recent study suggests that public funding might be even more influential than it seems. “Nearly a third of US patents rely directly on US government funded research,” says Dennis A. Yao, Lawrence E. Fouraker Professor of Business Administration and co-head of the Strategy Unit at Harvard Business School.
China has paid more than 7,000 U.S. scientists and other experts over the past decade through its Thousand Talents Plan (TTP) to hand over their research, according to a Senate subcommittee report made public on Nov. 18. The TTP is only one of about 200 such Chinese “talent recruitment” programs. While being paid by China, these scientists have also received U.S. government funding.
Women experience substantial, gender-specific barriers that can impede their advancement in research careers. These include unconscious biases that negatively influence the perception of women's abilities, as well as social and cultural factors like those that lead to an unequal distribution of domestic labor. Additionally, sexual and gender-based harassment is a widespread and pernicious impediment to the retention and advancement of women in many science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM)-related fields.
Last year, President Trump signed an Executive Order to coordinate federal actions related to ocean science and technology and ocean resource management, and established an interagency ocean policy committee to do so. As co-chairs of the committee, our charge, in part, is to collaborate with the ocean community, identify priority ocean research and technology needs and maximize the effectiveness of federal investments in ocean research.
U.S. Secretary of Agriculture Sonny Perdue said Friday that he has “absolutely zero regrets” about moving the headquarters of two research agencies from Washington, D.C., to Kansas City, despite continuing criticism that the move would harm agricultural research and make it less available to federal lawmakers.