International Partnerships in Large Science Projects.
OFFICE OF TECHNOLOGY ASSESSMENT WASHINGTON DC
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Over the past several decades, the federal government has supported a wide range of research projects in science and technology. Federal support has been crucial to many of the most important research and development RD achievements in defense, space, energy, environmental, and other science and technology programs. Recently, however, federal budget deficits and concerns about the effectiveness of research efforts have intensified pressures on government RD spending, making it difficult to sustain many ongoing efforts and limiting opportunities for new ventures. These pressures, coupled with the increasingly international character of science and technology RD activities, have focused greater attention on bilateral and multilateral collaborative arrangements, particularly for large-scale, long-term projects in areas such as particle physics, energy and environmental science, and space. The United States has pursued international collaborative projects in RD to raise the likelihood of scientific success for particularly complex endeavors, to take greater advantage of international scientific expertise and facilities, to address science and technology issues that have global implications, to extend national scientific capabilities, and especially for very large science projects, to share costs and risks with other nations. International collaboration, however, poses special challenges, such as establishing RD priorities within and across different scientific disciplines, developing funding and planning mechanisms that ensure the long-term stability of projects, and maintaining U.S. economic and national security interests.
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