The greatest driver of economic progress since the dawn of the industrial revolution has been the development and adoption of new technologies, especially technologies that boost productivity. Historically, federal funding for scientific and engineering research has played a key role in this process. But government spending on research and development (R&D) has fallen significantly as a share of GDP over the last 40 years, and current R&D is not focused on advancing technologies that drive productivity. To get back on track, Congress and the administration should make boosting productivity an explicit mission for federal R&D and devote more direct and indirect funding to R&D that is focused on developing technologies for that purpose. Because of the growth it will induce and the tax revenues that will generate, expanding productivity-focused federal research spending will play a key role in reducing the future debt-to-GDP ratio.
Please join ITIF for the release of a new report that lays out a productivity-focused agenda for federal science and engineering research and analyzes the effect it will have on GDP growth and the federal budget. This paper was prepared as part of a Concord Coalition project on fiscal responsibility and economic growth.
Additional speakers to be announced.
Lunch will be provided during the event.