China Has Surpassed the U.S. in R&D Spending, According to New National Academy of Arts and Sciences Report

Oct 12, 2020

by ASME.org

The American Academy of Arts and Sciences has recently released a report about America, China, and the future of innovations, titled “The Perils of Complacency: America at a Tipping Point in Science & Engineering.” Norman Augustine, former chairman and CEO of Lockheed Martin and a former Under Secretary of the Army, and Neal Lane, senior fellow in science and technology policy at the Baker Institute and former director of the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy and National Science Foundation, led the report. The report offers specific policy recommendations that will help ensure the U.S. maintains a leading role in global innovation in light of increased efforts by China to outperform the United States in science and technology R&D.

 

This new report is an update to the Academy’s 2014 report, “Restoring the Foundation: The Vital Role of Research in Preserving the American Dream.” Since the 2014 report was issued, the Academy has observed that the nation’s understanding of the significance of R&D has improved along with increases in federal research funding, however these advances have not been enough to reassure America’s ability to be globally competitive.

 

The new report does offer a whole section on “reaffirming the 2014 recommendations,” while also offering a set of new recommendations. While the 2014 recommendations focused on R&D priorities specifically, the 2020 recommendations focus on strengthening America’s innovation ecosystem through investing in U.S. STEM education and the American workforce.

 

The new report also comments on the importance of lowering barriers to industry-university collaboration to more quickly bring new innovations to market. The report takes a comprehensive approach to supporting domestic R&D, from funding the R&D itself, to investing in the workforce and the future of the workforce, and easing the pathway for innovations to be realized and produce commercial applications.

 

To read the full report, please visit: https://www.amacad.org/sites/default/files/publication/downloads/Perils-of-Complacency_Report-Brief_2.pdf.

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