CRS Issue Statement on R&D to Meet National Needs and Priorities
LIBRARY OF CONGRESS WASHINGTON DC CONGRESSIONAL RESEARCH SERVICE
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The science and engineering community, advocacy groups, and the Federal Government assert that domestic investment in research and development RD is a critical component to U.S. national and international policy. Investment in RD is key to maintaining U.S. scientific and technical ability, developing the U.S. scientific and engineering workforce, enhancing domestic economic growth, continuing U.S. global industrial competitiveness, and advancing national priorities. Congress will likely be forced to make difficult choices regarding the federal RD investment. Often, RD is a federalprivate partnership, with roles and responsibilities for funding and performing RD shared among many stakeholders. The Federal Government leverages its investment by encouraging the private sector to commercialize federally funded RD discoveries by supporting technology transfer, maintaining intellectual property rights, and spurring industrial innovation. Some experts have expressed concerns regarding the widening gap that often exists between a laboratory discovery and the private sectors willingness to transform the discovery into a final commercial product. This phenomenon results in a failure to exploit the economic potential of RD results. Advocates have called for greater efforts to stimulate private sector investment in RD increased federal funding for the translation of research ideas into products, as well as for the construction of RD infrastructure and facilities greater support for students pursuing degrees in science and engineering and alignment of authorized and appropriated federal RD funding levels.
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