The federal government should develop and execute a whole-of-government approach for strategic R&D investment, including a clear articulation of near-, medium- and long-term research priorities. A whole-of-government strategic plan should include clear and specific objectives and benchmarks, results-driven planning and execution, a predictable funding stream, and effective coordination and collaboration across agencies and federal labs.
The United States needs to make strategic, long-term investments in science and technology.
Investing in R&D now helps sustain U.S. dominance in emerging technologies like artificial intelligence, quantum computing, advanced robotics, aerospace and advanced medicine. The country needs a national innovation strategy to pursue ambitious, exploratory and ground-breaking projects to solve the toughest challenges across a wide range of fields.
Federal support of R&D is slowing even as other countries are pursuing ambitious investment strategies. The United States is still a global leader in R&D -- largely due to robust private sector investment -- but its lead is diminishing.
U.S. Lagging Behind Other Countries
American R&D investment as a share of GDP ranks 10th behind countries like Israel, Switzerland, and Germany.
Federal Spending Not Keeping Pace with GDP
Federal government spending as a share of GDP has fallen from 1.2% in the 1970s to just 0.7% today.
U.S. Investment is Flat Compared to Our GDP
While U.S. R&D investment reached a record high in 2016, investment as a share of GDP has flattened at 2.7%.
Develop and implement whole-of-government strategic planning for R&D.
Increase funding for basic R&D.
Incentivize and support regional cluster initiatives.
Expand collaborative research partnerships.
Preserve a tax code without systemic barriers to U.S. R&D.
Ensure tax credit competitiveness.
Incentivize a long-term view of value creation and R&D.
Ensure the fitness of the patent system.
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