INTERNATIONAL SCIENCE AND TECHNOLOGY ISSUES: SUMMARY OF A REPORT TO THE COMMITTEE ON SCIENCE
CRS Report for Congress
International Science and Technology Issues:
Summary of a Report to the Committee on
Updated April 20, 1998
Glenn J. McLoughlin
Specialist in Technology and Telecommunications Policy
Science, Technology, and Medicine Division
Congressional Research Service ˜ The Library of Congress
This CRS report is a summary of a larger, two-part comparative study on international
science and technology, prepared at the request of the Committee on Science of the House
of Representatives. This paper provides a digest of analysis and findings on the science and
technology policies, civilian research and development funding, and relevant policy issues
of thirteen countries and the European Union. It also provides a brief description of why
these findings and issues may be of interest to U.S. policymakers, as well as a brief analysis
of issues and concerns about U.S. data collection and information. It concludes with a list
of selected references for additional reading. International S&T issues may have a
significant impact on a wide range of U.S. S&T legislative and oversight issues during theth
International Science and Technology Issues: Summary of a
Report to the Committee on Science
The 1990s have been a time of great vitality and change for U.S. science and
technology (S&T) policy and research and development (R&D) programs. As a
result, many Members of Congress have asked what might be done to set national
S&T priorities more efficiently, establish policies, and fund or otherwise support
R&D programs that best enhance U.S. resources?
The answers may be found, in part, by understanding other nations’ S&T
policies and R&D programs within the context of U.S. policy and programs. For
many, U.S. S&T policy (and the R&D programs supported by the policy) is perhaps
the most successful in the world, often admired and sometimes copied. But U.S.
science and technology does not exist in a vacuum. The United States is constantly
interacting with other nations that seek to cooperate and/or compete in science and
technology. A better understanding of other nations policies and programs may better
inform domestic U.S. S&T policy and R&D programs; other U.S. policies, such as
trade or national security; and U.S. interactions with other nations in S&T issues,
such as when countries engage in international agreements.
The Science, Technology, and Medicine Division of the Congressional Research
Service prepared a comparative study of international science and technology at the
request of the Committee on Science of the House of Representatives. This report
is a summary of the larger two-part study completed October 1997 and February
The data in this two-part study shows a great variety of how nations support
R&D. For example, governments in Russia, Brazil, India, and Mexico fund over half
of the national R&D, while in countries such as Japan, Korea, Germany, and Canada,
less than one-third of all national funding comes from government sources. In the
United States, the R&D funding trend in recent years has been for less government
support for total R&D and more industry support. In S&T policy, a wide range of
national perspectives are documented as well. The European Union has a
transnational S&T policymaking process known as the Framework program, unique
in both its size and scope. The United Kingdom utilizes a technology foresight
program as part of its national S&T policymaking. In Israel, a national S&T policy
is directly linked to economic development and industrial growth. Yet other nations,
such as Brazil, struggle with incorporating a coherent national S&T policy as a way
to address national goals and objectives.
In troduction ......................................................1
Findings and Issues............................................1
A Summary of Several Nations’ S&T Policies, Programs, and Issues.....2
Information and Data Resources .................................10
New Challenges in a New Century...............................11
Selected Reference Sources.........................................12
Science, Technology, and Medicine Division
Sandra A. Burr
Senior Production Assistant
William C. Boesman
Specialist in Science and Technology
Michael E. Davey
Specialist in Science and Technology Policy
Genevieve J. Knezo
Specialist in Science Policy
Lennard G. Kruger
Specialist in Science and Technology
Glenn J. McLoughlin
Specialist in Technology & Telecommunications Policy
John D. Moteff
Specialist in Science and Technology Policy
Richard E. Rowberg
Science and Technology
Wendy H. Schacht
Specialist in Science and Technology
Fred J. Sissine
Specialist in Energy Policy
International Science and Technology Issues:
Summary of a Report to the Committee on
The 1990s have been a time of great dynamism and change in the United States
for science and technology (S&T) policy and research and development (R&D)
programs. During this time there has been a vigorous debate in government,
industry, and academia regarding the fundamental issues affecting U.S. science and
technology. Many Members of Congress have asked what can be done to set national
S&T priorities more efficiently, establish policies, and fund or otherwise support
R&D programs, which best enhance U.S. resources?
Dynamism also characterizes the international S&T activities of many foreign
government, industry, and academic stakeholders. In Asia, economic growth has
been directly fed by technological innovation and development, while in Europe,
individual nations seek to develop S&T policies within a national, regional
(European Union), and global framework of cooperation and competition. From
India to Israel, from Mexico to Canada, nations increasingly have linked their S&T
policies and R&D programs to improving standards of living, competing in the
global marketplace, advancing their peoples’ health and safety, and looking to
challenges and opportunities in the next century.
Several recent reports and analyses have addressed important domestic S&T
issues facing the United States.2 However, assessment of the international context,
in which U.S. R&D priorities, S&T policies, and issues are placed in comparative
analysis with other nations, is rare. Given the growing importance of international
S&T activities to the United States, a global perspective appears vital for making
critical domestic decisions.
Findings and Issues
There are three reasons why U.S. S&T policymakers may wish to in obtain more
information on other countries’ S&T policies and R&D programs. First, U.S.
policymakers must make decisions on domestic S&T policies and R&D programs,
1CRS Report for the Committee on Science, International Science and Technology:
A Comparative Study [Part One], 1 October 1997, 100 pages; International Science and
Technology: A Comparative Study [Part Two], 5 February 1998, 94 pages.
2See: Congressional Research Service, Analysis of Ten Selected Science and
Technology Policy Studies, coordinated by William C. Boesman, Report 87-836SPR, 4
September 1997, 51 pages.
and these are rarely made in a vacuum. Second, broad U.S. policy issues, like trade
and national security, often have important science and technology issues
underpinnings. Third, S&T agreements and arrangements between the United States
and other nations are being renewed, terminated, reconsidered or otherwise examined
by the United States and in its partners.
In all three areas, a lack of current and relevant information and data on foreign
nations’ S&T policies and R&D programs could affect U.S. S&T policy and
decisions. Information and data on other nations’ policies and programs are scattered
among several federal agencies and non-profit S&T organizations. Many of these
agencies and organizations struggle to maintain a capacity to gather, organize, and
analyze information and data for public policy analysis. Beyond a few (if very
important) countries like Japan, information on other nations’ R&D programs often
is not current. Very few agencies and organizations incorporate other nations’ R&D
funding data into a context that also explains the S&T policies of other nations.
Why understand other nations’ S&T policies and R&D programs? As two S&T
policy experts recently stated:
The roles of science, engineering and technology in creating power and wealth
are by now well-recognized the world over. But how a country supports, deploys
and uses most effectively these resources in order to achieve national goals is a
matter of enduring and critical concern. The quality of life, international
standing, and indeed, the very future of the country is at stake. Clearly, each
country has its own views, its own approaches, and its own constraints. And
clearly, every country has something to learn from how other countries address
these vital issues.3
A Summary of Several Nations’ S&T Policies, Programs, and Issues
In response to congressional interest in these issues, the Science, Technology,
and Medicine Division of the Congressional Research Service prepared a
comparative study of international science and technology at the request of the
Committee on Science of the House of Representatives. The following countries’
S&T policies and civilian R&D programs were analyzed: the United States,
Germany, the United Kingdom, Japan, Korea, India, Israel, Canada, the European
Union, France, Russia, China, Mexico, and Brazil.4 They are summarized in this
Countries face a wide range of S&T policy issues and support civilian R&D in
many different ways. However, one common theme appears to be developing among
most developed or industrialized nations analyzed: a greater reliance on non-
governmental, usually industrial, sectors to support R&D. Among the developing
3George Bugliarello and A. George Schillinger, Technology In Society, Exeter:
Elsevier Science Ltd., August/November 1997, p. 207.
4Additional countries highlighted by short summaries in the February 1998 report
were Taiwan, Singapore, Australia, Italy, Norway, Ireland, Sweden, Spain, South Africa,
countries analyzed, government support for R&D is substantially greater than
industry, or, in some cases, roughly about equal. The relative percentage support of
R&D, by country, is presented just after these summaries in Chart 1 (p. 6).5
In summary, the authors found:
!In the United States, a changing national R&D budget has resulted in a smaller
government percentage of total R&D (now 35% of the national total). A shift
in emphasis from a large percentage of government-funded R&D may have
a permanent effect on how the United States supports R&D, who supports it,
and why. International cooperation and competition in science and
technology, already an important fact of U.S. S&T policy, may become a
critical part of domestic collaboration and competition for scarce resources.
!In Germany, a rather elaborate coordinating and cooperative structure guides
a complex R&D process. Of overall national R&D funding, 60% is funded by
the industrial sector, 21% from government, and 19% by the states (Länder).
The major objectives of German S&T policy are to promote high technologies
as drivers of innovation, spur economic innovation in small and medium-sized
firms, and provide a better national understanding of science and technology.
!In the United Kingdom, the primary focus of S&T policy appears to be the
application of science and technology to enhance economic growth. In terms
of spending on R&D, 48% is funded by industry, 33% by the government, the
rest from international sources. The Technology Foresight Programme of
1993, designed to help set national R&D priorities and strategy, is one of the
key elements of UK S&T policy. However, the program has been under
review by the Labour party since it gained control of the government in the
!Japan faces a series of important, if not unique challenges as it heads into the
21st century. R&D investments and technological innovation remain high
despite a sluggish economy and a loss of confidence in government. The
Japanese government funds just over 20% of all national R&D, with almost
of all the rest coming from Japan’s large industrial firms. Still, the
government performs an important role of setting policy. Three agencies
dominate: the Ministry of Education, the Science and Technology Agency,
and the Ministry of International Trade and Industry. Japan has embarked on
an ambitious five-year plan to boost basic research and improve university
facilities, although full implementation remains unclear.
!In Korea, within a relatively short time, the nation has evolved from a largely
agrarian economy to one that has used S&T policy to industrialize. A highly
centralized government plays a major role as policymaker and supporter of
R&D. But the private sector is now the primary performer (73%) and
5The European Union (EU) is not included in this chart, since its relationship between
fifteen member states is a unique regional partnership. It does not provide comparable data
relative to the other 13 countries
supporter (80%) of R&D. A Special Law for Science and Technology
Innovation, passed earlier in 1997, provides an outline for Korea’s
development as a major player in basic research into the next century.
However, the currency crisis of late 1997 has raised serious concerns about
whether the government can fund more basic research and support industrial
growth, and whether the Korean”chaebol” will support more R&D while
facing more competitive pressures worldwide.
!India’s form of parliamentary government places responsibility for S&T
policymaking in the Ministry of Science and Technology. Currently, the
government funds over 73% of R&D, industry 17%, and state governments
around 10%. While technological innovation and research development
remain top priorities for Indian policymakers, a “brain drain” of scientists and
engineers continues to be a problem. One of the most important issues for
U.S.. S&T policymakers — and of primary concern to the Indian government
— is the expiration in 1998 of the United States-Indian Fund for S&T
!In Israel, civilian S&T policy is an important part of the government’s
policies. These include strategies to meet various national objectives,
including economic growth through value-added exports, expansion of
employment opportunities for immigrants, and distribution of the population
into largely unsettled areas. The Israeli government provides about 40% of all
R&D funding, industry 36%, academia 10%, and non-profits and international
sources the rest. Of all of the important Israeli international S&T agreements,
the U.S.-Israel Binational Industrial Research and Development Foundation
is the most prominent.
!Canada has the seventh largest industrial economy in the world. Principal
R&D funders include industry (46%), the federal government (26%), foreign
sources (11%), universities (9%), and provincial governments (6%), and other
independent sources (2%). Two factors have driven Canadian S&T policy
developments: a large budget deficit, and an “innovation gap” in certain
industries. While the government has tried to address these issues, critics
contend that as a result, long-term basic research is being unwisely neglected.
!The European Union (EU) is now operating under Framework 4, a multiyear
science and technology program involving the 15 member states. Framework
4 is funded at $16.8 billion. The current proposal for Framework 5 is $17.3
billion. R&D priorities will include information and communications
technologies, life science and technologies, energy, industrial, environmental,
transportation, and targeted socio-economic goals. However, the EU also
must address concerns that its bureaucracy is too cumbersome and its
policymaking process too slow to adapt to rapid global developments.
!In France, a total of $22 million was spent on R&D in 1992, with the
government playing a primary role as funder (40%) and performer (20%) of
all national R&D. However, as the government has decreased its support for
defense spending and moved to privatize its national industries, that role is
starting to diminish. While most of the industrial R&D is performed by large
firms and enterprises, most of France’s industrial R&D policies are directed
towards small and medium sized firms.
!Russia faces an unprecedented change in its R&D funding and S&T policies.
The Russian R&D system has experienced a real decline in R&D funding of
78% from 1990 to 1995. The government funded about 75% of all R&D in
the past. Even if successful, a transition from the well-financed Soviet R&D
system of the past to a smaller Russian R&D system more geared towards
civilian market goals may take another 10 to 15 years. This overall decline
has a significant impact on ongoing domestic and international projects. Still,
Russia’s contribution to global S&T policy as partner and collaborator is
important, as is the role of international funding to support Russian R&D.
!The People’s Republic of China (PRC) is seeking to increase its national
funding for R&D while addressing issues of wasteful duplication and
ineffectiveness in certain areas and increasing incentives and capacity for
effective research, particularly in Chinese industry. The Chinese spent about
$22 billion on S&T activities in 1995. Most of this was directed towards
science education and teaching. About $3 billion went for R&D, with the
government providing 60% and industry 40% of the total. A bilateral S&T
agreement between the United States and the PRC, to encourage broad
scientific collaboration and exchange, was renewed in 1996 for another five
!Mexico’s current S&T policy is focused on building a cadre of scientific
personnel, improving its higher educational research institutions, modernizing
its technology base, decentralizing its scientific institutions, and increasing
international cooperation yet competing in the global marketplace. About
10% from other sources. The government is seeking to raise industry’s
contribution of all R&D to 45% by 2000. In 1995, the government spent
$2.64 billion on R&D.
!Brazil, with the ninth largest GDP in the world, spent $4.9 billion on R&D in
1994. Of that total, 57% came from the federal government, 18% from
industry, and 25% from state governments and businesses owned by the states
(with two states accounting for two-thirds of that percentage). Brazil faces
some serious S&T policy issues going into the 21st century. They include a
highly centralized and often slowly-responsive federal bureaucracy; low-paid
R&D employees protected by tenure and without full education credentials;
an education system which many contend does not measure up to the needs
of a developing country; a lack of incentives for industry and other private
sector support for R&D; and little cooperation among government, industry,
and academic institutions.
Figure 1. National R&D Funding by Percentage
A . rea a ael e na zil0
US rmany U.K Japan Ko Indi Isr anc ussia Chi exico Bra
G over nm ent Indus tr y O ther
The analyses in the two-part study for the Committee on Science covers several
nations having differing resources, opportunities, and issues. Yet even with so many
countries with differing R&D priorities and S&T policies, a broad set of themes
emerge as to why a comparative study on international science and technology policy
is important. CRS has found three overarching reasons, with supporting examples,
of why understanding international S&T issues and R&D funding is vital.
Importance to the U.S. S&T Debate
First, some contend that the U.S. debate on domestic S&T policy and support
of R&D programs is usually undertaken within either an explicit or implicit global
context. Often, U.S. policymakers must consider a wide range of S&T policies and
R&D programs, ranging from high-energy physics to the U.S. space program, in a
context of international cooperation or competition. Even as some U.S. policymakers
seek to develop S&T policies within a purely national context, a variety of U.S. S&T
stakeholders at research universities, high technology industries, federal laboratories,
and others, are constantly interacting with their foreign counterparts.
Consequently, U.S. domestic S&T policy has broad implications for
international science and technology, and in turn may be affected by developments
in the international community. Other nations’ S&T activities and policies may
become part of the U.S. S&T debate. Some may ask, if U.S. policymakers, business
leaders, educators, and other stakeholders are going to consider fundamental S&T
policy issues (e.g., scientific literacy or technology commercialization and
competitiveness), how can we better inform U.S. S&T policymakers when a global
context is needed?
One example where international science and technology can provide a context
for domestic U.S. S&T issues is the government-industry-university relationship. The
United States is facing a series of important policy questions about who should fund
certain types of R&D and what is the rationale for their investment. Part of this
discussion involves a declining percentage of U.S. government support for R&D, and
how that may affect U.S. efforts in basic research. Should the United States provide
incentives or otherwise encourage U.S. industry to support more basic research, are
there other non-government sources for supporting U.S. R&D, and how will this
affect other forms of S&T investments, such as university research?
In many other countries, the same debate is taking place in different forms. If
other nations are also addressing dynamic changes in the government, industry, and
academia S&T relationships, are there new opportunities for the United States to
forge new partnerships, agreements, and exchanges to meet mutual needs? Are there
lessons to learn, as well?
In Korea, national S&T policy has been directed towards obtaining innovative
technology from abroad and domestic industrialization. Most of the basic research
facilities are modest, and two universities receive most of the funding for science and
engineering. Many Korean S&T policymakers contend that for Korean industry to
remain competitive in more open domestic and world markets, it must support more
basic research. Yet not all Korean policymakers agree with this strategy. Since many
of Korea’s best science and engineering students receive their education abroad,
particularly in the United States, some argue that this arrangement should continue
and that national R&D resources should primarily support industry. The currency
crisis that developed in late 1997 has sparked renewed examination of the
government-industry-university S&T relationship in Korea and how scarce resources
should now be allocated.
Germany also is facing some important questions in its government-industry-
university R&D relationship. Generally, the German federal-Länder-independent
research institution relationship has operated effectively through an elaborate yet
cooperative policymaking structure. Consensus on national R&D policies is usually
achieved even when crossing political party lines. A single ministry, the Federal
Ministry of Education, Science, and Research (more commonly known by its German
acronym BMBF) provides national S&T policy direction, coordination, and funding
by melding a variety of German S&T stakeholders’ interests and goals. Some may
argue that the U.S. S&T policymaking system, which is decentralized, could benefit
from a more centralized arrangement like Germany’s. However, currently the
German S&T policy system is being severely tested by national budget constraints,
the perceived need to reform the university research system, and the financial
viability of several independent research institutes to continue. The outcomes of
these and other S&T policy and R&D budget issues in Germany may illuminate if a
centralized and complex national S&T system can change and reform over time.
Other nations face similar issues. In Japan, a nearly decade-long recession has
cast some doubt as to whether Japanese government can support policies with that
focus national S&T policies on industrial technology innovation while also trying to
increase funding for university research. Brazil, of all of the countries analyzed in
this study, perhaps faces the most significant long-term S&T issues, with what many
consider to be poor federal S&T coordination, an under-educated S&T workforce,
and heavy reliance on government spending on R&D. In Mexico, policymakers are
trying to apply national S&T policies to economic growth, yet face challenges to
support university research and education, S&T policy and budget coordination, and
increase high technology investment. Canada’s S&T issues involve significant cuts
in national government R&D; a perceived “innovation gap,” resulting from Canada’s
relatively low ranking among industrial nations in industrial R&D; and, in the face
of increased government support for economically and industrially relevant R&D
programs, a concern that university research may be unwisely neglected for the long-
U.S. S&T public policy should not be just a reaction to other nations’ S&T
policies. It is also informed by these policies when necessary.6 Within the
framework of U.S. national S&T policies and priorities, an understanding of how
other nations are addressing similar issues can be instructive. National S&T policy
decisions are almost never made without affecting, or being affected by, international
science and technology, regardless of the country.
Importance to U.S. Non-S&T Policies
Broad policy issues ranging from the domestic (health, education and training,
the environment) to international (trade and global security) have roots in S&T
policies and R&D programs and the national benefits accrued from S&T and R&D.
Understanding U.S. S&T policies and R&D funding vis. a vis. other nations may be
an important component for making these policy and funding decisions.
For example, China is seeking membership in the World Trade Organization
and Most Favored Nation trading status with the United States. U.S. policymakers
have raised many concerns, as well as support, for these two initiatives. Part of this
issue may revolve around what China is trying to achieve by raising its status as a
developing high technology nation, and its desire to be a high technology partner
with the United States. While focusing on U.S. trade and security interests is
important, a clearer understanding of Chinese national S&T policies and R&D
priorities may provide a more beneficial discussion between the two nations.
In Israel, government S&T policies support a wide range of national education,
employment, and economic development goals. As a nation, it has a policy that
utilizes a highly trained workforce, incorporates a steady stream of immigrants, and
assists communities targeted for high technology development. It also has made
direct support of R&D, as well as financial assistance for commercialization and
6For the U.S. private sector, which must compete intensely with foreign firms in
product development and commercialization, a direct reaction to developments in foreign
S&T not only occurs, but may be critical to survival.
marketing, an integral part of its economic growth strategy. When the Israeli S&T
approach is compared to U.S. S&T debate, particularly within the context of the
American system of incentives to promote technology development and
commercialization, the contrast is stark. Yet Israeli S&T policy provides a concrete
example of how science and technology is directly incorporated into national
economic policy, while in the United States, the debate over the direct and indirect
support of national S&T goals is still ongoing.
Importance to International S&T Agreements
U.S. policy debate regarding the U.S. role and contribution (if appropriate) to
international S&T agreements may benefit from a better understanding of other
nations S&T policies. In part, this is because such a knowledge is likely to inform
U.S. policymakers as to what foreign nations would like to gain from such
agreements with the United States. Also, successful multilateral and bilateral S&T
agreements between nations can be instructive as to how the United States can best
enter into these agreements in the future. Ultimately, the United States must pursue
its own national interests when entering into these agreements, as do other nations.
One current S&T agreement due to expire in 1998 is the United States-India
Fund (US-IF), a broad exchange agreement between the two countries. For U.S.
policymakers, there have been serious concerns that in India, there is not strong
enough protection of U.S. patent rights and that there are overly broad compulsory
licensing provisions for foreign R&D. Some U.S. critics contend that since these
issues come under the US-IF, the agreement needs major restructuring or should be
allowed to expire. In India, many policymakers contend that patent and licensing
problems have been addressed and corrected. They contend that some U.S. leaders
do not recognize how important this agreement is to India, not only for the science
and technology exchanged, but for the larger U.S.-Indian relations. Therefore, U.S.
policymakers may ask whether there are lessons to learn about Indian and U.S.
priorities and policymaking that can help both sides make informed decisions about
the future of this S&T agreement?
The S&T policies of thirteen countries and the EU were analyzed in the report
for the Committee on Science. Among this group, the EU probably has engaged in
the most complex forms of S&T agreements, since it must coordinate the S&T
policies of 15 countries into one coherent European policy. For some, the EU may
provide a model of how nations can come together and agree upon basic S&T
policies, while allowing private sector competition to continue. There is an extensive
policymaking apparatus for regional and national approval of all EU policies,
including those in science and technology. Since 1985, the EU has successfully
completed four Framework programs. The Framework programs support a wide
range of R&D initiatives that all member states contribute to, and from which they
receive benefits. Supporters contend that the EU provides lessons for S&T
consensus-building across borders, is a model for strategic planning and multi-year
R&D budgets, and can provide a paradigm for international S&T cooperation by
balancing national priorities with international objectives. Yet others contend that
the EU is much too bureaucratic, its policymaking slow and cumbersome, and by
serving all interests it lowers the European standard of S&T and does not raise it.
Does the EU provide any lessons for U.S. international S&T policymaking, or by its
nature and scope does the EU approach limit its replication and use at the national
Information and Data Resources
A chronic obstacle facing the contributors to this report has been that data and
information about S&T policies and R&D funding often have been inconsistent,
dated, or unavailable for many nations. While there are several excellent research
sources on international science and technology, no single source provided timely
R&D funding data with comprehensive analysis of science and technology
policymaking issues for the range of countries addressed in the report to the
Committee on Science.
!The National Science Foundation’s (NSF) publications, most notably Science
and Engineering Indicators, are considered by many as a definitive source of
statistical information on other nations’ R&D activities. NSF offices in Japan,
Europe, and elsewhere provide important updates on foreign S&T issues.
However, the NSF data can lag the publication date by up to five years, and
the reports do not always provide a context for S&T policymaking in other
countries. NSF appears to be similar to other organizations that would like to
undertake more international S&T data collection and analysis, but, at the
same time, must allocate scarce resources in order to do so.
!The Department of State has information on nations’ S&T policies and
international S&T agreements, mostly compiled by the Bureau of Oceans and
International Environmental and Scientific Affairs. Yet departmental
reorganization and budgetary constraints have reduced that institution’s
capability to compile and publish international S&T information.
!The Department of Commerce’s International Technology Policy (ITP)
division provides S&T policy analysis and R&D funding data for many
countries. Parts of the larger report prepared for the Committee on Science
were drawn from ITP research. In addition, several ITP analysts provided
peer review for the larger report. Yet budget reductions and staff
reorganization may hinder their ability to provide continued extensive, in-
depth analysis of international S&T issues.
!The Organization of Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) has
several excellent S&T reports and experts on related subjects. However, since
the OECD membership is made up of industrialized countries, important
developing and lesser developed countries are not a major part of the analysis.
!The Washington area is home to embassies and chanceries of almost all
nations. Most embassies have a Science Counsellor or Science Attache.
Many counsellors or attaches provided research and advice to CRS analysts
for the larger report. Other nations’ representatives, however, lack the
personnel, expertise, or interest to provide information on their S&T policies.
!Other sources of information ranged from international web sites to industry
and trade groups which cover global S&T issues. Yet issues of accuracy,
objectivity, timeliness, and comprehensiveness affected the quality of
information and data from these sources.
Information and data on international science and technology remains
fragmented and often lags comparable data on U.S. policies and programs by
anywhere from one to five years. This is a significant obstacle for congressional
researchers, analysts, and policymakers, and will likely to continue to be so for the
foreseeable future. As international S&T policies and R&D programs continue to be
an important part of U.S. S&T issues, policymakers may wish to consider how to
best address the problem of fragmented, dated, and uneven information and data.
New Challenges in a New Century
As the United States prepares to enter a new century, Congress is asking some
fundamental questions about U.S. S&T policy and programs that have been in place
for over half a century. These questions include how and why the United States
funds research and development, what comprises successful partnerships between
government, industry, and universities that promote and preserve our national S&T
infrastructure, and how we can best improve education, training, and scientific
literacy in the United States, among others.
In many respects, the U.S. perhaps has the most successful S&T policy in the
world, often admired and some times copied. But United States science and
technology does not exist in a vacuum. We constantly interact with other nations that
seek to cooperate and/or compete with the Unites States in science and technology.
All nations have their own national S&T priorities and objectives. As a nation, we
must not only be aware of U.S. S&T priorities, but those of other nations who engage
us in a wide range of activities.
Therefore, policymakers may continue to seek a greater understanding and
knowledge of what other nations are undertaking and planning in science and
technology policy. While U.S. S&T policy should never be dictated by, or purely be
a response to, other nations’ S&T policies and programs, policymakers may benefit
from being informed by those policies. Increasingly, many S&T stakeholders
contend that it is in the national interest of all concerned to gain a greater
understanding and knowledge of this complex issue.
Selected Reference Sources
General Reference Sources
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National Science Foundation, Human Resources for Science and Technology: The
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Organisation of Economic Cooperation and Development. Main Science and
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——. Reviews of National Science and Technology Policy: Mexico, (Paris:
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General National Reference Sources
Klaus-Dieter Borchardt, European Integration: The Origins and Growth of the
European Union, Office of Official Publications of the European Communities,
Edouard P. Brezin, Public Research in France: The Legislative Framework,
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Pascal Fontaine, Europe in Ten Points, Office for Official Publications of the
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Government of Canada. Science and Technology for the New Century: A Federal
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Government of Germany. Report of the Federal Government on Research 1996
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Organisation of Economic Cooperation and Development. Science and Technology
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Roberto Sbragia and Isak Kruglianskas, R&D at the Firm Level: A Comparative
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Caroline S. Wagner. International Cooperation in Research and Development.
RAND’s Critical Technologies Institute. March 1997. 82 pages.
Web Sites as Additional Sources of Information
Central Intelligence Agency. World Fact Book 1996.
Community Research and Development Information Service (CORDIS).
European Parliament’s Science and Technology Options Assessment (STOA)
European Union (EU). [http://www.europa.eu.int]
Government of Canada. Industry Canada. Technology Partnerships Canada.
[ h ttp://info.ic.gc.ca/ic-dat a/industry/tpc/broche]
U.S. Department of State. East Asian Policy/Foreign Service Office.
[ h ttp://www.state.gov/www/regi ons/ eap/fs_us_china_relations.html]
__. East Asian Policy/Foreign Service Office. Background Notes on China