The Council on Competitiveness’ long-awaited report on their National Innovation Initiative is now out (pdf) and contains some very strong recommendations in support of the federal role in funding fundamental research. Here’s a first brief peek at their recommendations for “[Revitalizing] Frontier and Multidisciplinary Research”:
Spur radical innovation by reallocating three percent of all federal agency R&D budgets toward “Innovation Acceleration” grants that invest in novel, high-risk and exploratory research. Affirm the goal set in the Quadrennial Defense Review (2001) and by the Defense Science Board that at least three percent of the total Department of Defense budget be allocated for defense science and technology. Within this amount, the Department of Defenses historic commitment to fundamental knowledge creation should be restored by directing at least 20 percent of the total Department of Defense science and technology budget to long-term, basic (6.1) research performed at the nations universities and national laboratories. Increase significantly the research budgets of agencies that support basic research in the physical sciences and engineering, and complete the commitment to double the NSF budget. These increases should strive to ensure that the federal commitment of research to all federal agencies totals one percent of U.S. GDP. Allocate an increasing proportion of future research funding at universities to multi-and interdisciplinary research — and to the facilities and research infrastructure to support it. Recognize “services science” as a new academic discipline — and encourage universities, community colleges and industry to partner in developing curricula and in training a workforce focused on services and enterprise transformation. Enact a permanent, restructured R&E tax credit and extend the credit to research conducted in university-industry consortia
I’ll have more as I get through the report….