Science and R&D

Tech policy broadly defined becomes more important each presidential election, and this one is no different. As it has in every cycle since 2008, ITIF provides a side-by-side comparison of the nominees’ positions on key issues related to the progress of technological innovation.
Science and R&D
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January 7, 2019
In 1983, the Japanese government began a series of robot technology R&D projects, which partnered with Japanese firms. New analysis of 25 years of these projects, from 1993 to 2008, found that not only did these projects create valuable results, they also caused participating firms to be more efficient in their future research.
December 14, 2018
The federal government invests approximately $121 billion per year funding research and development (R&D) in everything from agriculture to health, defense, energy, and a host of other areas.
December 13, 2018
The reduced tax generosity toward R&D will cost the U.S. economy, because R&D is an important component of national competitiveness and higher living standards.
November 13, 2018
A new study has found that the 2,500 firms with the largest R&D expenditures contributed more than 300,000 scientific publications from 2011 to 2015, which is comparable to the academic output of France.
November 10, 2018
As Rob Atkinson writes for The Hill, price controls and other steps to reduce drug company revenues would stifle knowledge generation and sharing, leaving future generations less access to effective new drugs than would otherwise be the case.
October 25, 2018
NITRD’s National AI R&D Strategic Plan is a valuable opportunity to help the United States maintain its competitive edge in the absence of a broader national AI strategy.
October 9, 2018
The Chinese government funds an exceptionally large amount of R&D, with direct government subsidies accounting for a quarter of the country’s total R&D spending in 2015. As such, how well the government allocates those funds plays an outsized role in determining how innovative the nation can be.
September 24, 2018
Large bodies of research have established that firms can benefit from the spillover effects of innovation by other firms and universities, but significantly less is known about the extent to which firms benefit from R&D conducted by governments outside of academia. This year, the U.S. government launched the Unleashing American Innovation initiative, attempting to maximize private use of public research, which a new paper indicates is badly needed.
September 10, 2018
Federal funding of private R&D comes in two forms: grants, in which the government has very little interaction with the research decisions made, and cooperative agreements, in which the government has significant control over research decisions and much more detailed project monitoring. Whether this higher level of government involvement hinders researchers by increasing bureaucracy or ensures that funding is not misallocated is hotly contested, but a paper released in June gives reason to believe that cooperative agreements are used well.
August 20, 2018
In a book review for the New York Journal of Books, Rob Atkinson writes that “Never Lost Again” is a first-class business story, illuminating broader lessons that are easy to overlook when we think about high-tech startups.

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