Task Force On Innovation Asks For 1% Of U.S. GDP For R&D Investment

At the National Press Club conference held Feb. 16, the Task Force on the Future of American Innovation presented a report called "The Knowledge Economy: Is the United States Losing Its Competitive Edge?" The report which includes 30 key benchmarks on five essential areas -- education, the workforce, knowledge creation and new ideas, R &D investments and the high-tech economy -- recommends federal R&D investment across all agencies to equal 1% of U.S. GDP. It also echoes the congressional authorization calling for a doubling the National Science Foundation's budget.

The conference occurred as testimony regarding the FY2006 research and development budgets before the House Science Committee concluded. John Engler, president of The National Association of Manufacturers, a task force member, said, "The U.S. cannot assume it is safely ahead of the world. Other countries are all trying to race up the technology ladder and stay on top of low-cost producers like China. But even China is rapidly increasing its R&D investments."

Some key findings include:

  • Education -- In 2000 89,000 of the 114,000 doctoral degrees in science and engineering worldwide were earned outside of the U.S.
  • Knowledge creation -- U.S. patent applications from China, India, Singapore, S. Korea and Taiwan grew 759% from 1989-2001, while U.S. applications grew at 116%
  • Research and Development -- From 1995-2001 China, S. Korea and Taiwan increased R& D funding by 140%, while U.S. increased by 34%

Task force members include various associations and companies including Miscrosoft, Intel, Texas Instruments, IBM and Hewlett Packard. The group's report will be posted at http://www.futureofinnovation.org.

The Task Force on the Future of American Innovation

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