Allocating Federal Funds for Science and Technology

Front Cover

The United States faces a new challenge--maintaining the vitality of its system for supporting science and technology despite fiscal stringency during the next several years. To address this change, the Senate Appropriations Committee requested a report from the National Academies of Sciences and Engineering and the Institute of Medicine to address "the criteria that should be used in judging the appropriate allocation of funds to research and development activities; to examine the appropriate balance among different types of institutions that conduct such research; and to look at the means of assuring continued objectivity in the allocation process." In this eagerly-awaited book, a committee of experts selected by the National Academies and the Institute responds with 13 recommendations that propose a new budgeting process and formulates a series of questions to address during that process. The committee also makes corollary recommendations about merit review, government oversight, linking research and development to government missions, the synergy between research and education, and other topics. The recommendations are aimed at rooting out obsolete and inadequate activities to free resources from good programs for even better ones, in the belief that "science and technology will be at least as important in the future as they have been in the past in dealing with problems that confront the nation." The authoring committee of this book was chaired by Frank Press, former President of the National Academy of Sciences (1981-1993) and Presidential Science and Technology Advisor (1977-1981).

 

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Contents

Determining Principles for Allocating Federal Funds
3
Conclusions Recommendations and Discussion
8
Looking to the Future
30
Endnotes
32
Background and Rationale
39
Supplement 1 The Evolution and Impact of Federal Government Support for RD in Broad Outline
41
Supplement 2 Federal Funds for RD and FS
51
Supplement 3 Current Processes for Allocating Federal RD Funds
62
Supplement 4 Interactions Between Federal and Industrial Funding and the Relationship Between Basic and Applied Research
70
Endnotes
82
Appendix A Senate Report Language for the Prospective Study on Allocation of Federal RD Funding
87
Appendix B Committee and Staff Biographical Information
88
Appendix C Acknowledgments
93
Appendix D List of Commissioned Background Papers
95
Appendix E Acronyms
96
Copyright

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Page 5 - A complex relationship has evolved between basic and applied science and technology. In most instances, the linear sequential view of innovation is simplistic and misleading. Basic and applied science and technology are treated here as one interrelated enterprise, as they are conducted in the science and engineering schools of our universities and in federal laboratories.