Insufficient or misapplied innovation and application of science

(Ref. 602)
Problem Components
Policy issue area: Science
Policy issue: Technology
Description: Government policies and insufficient funding prevent an adequate level of R&D for business and industry, and the maximum utilization of technology to serve national needs.
Symptoms: Advanced, innovative technology is not developed at a rate sufficient to improve productivity, revive declining industries and meet foreign competition; technology frequently results in unanticipated negative side-effects; growing anti-technology attitudes.
Causes: Most of government supported research is directed to defense (69% of total); insufficient government investment in non-defense R&D; anti-trust laws that prevent joint R&D efforts; lack of institutions to assess the impact of new technologies and direct the development of new ones.
Cost of problem: -
Solution Components
Resources: Universities and research institutes; Federal and state governments; nation's educational system; scientists.
Goal: 1. Commit annually 3% of GNP to civilian R&D
2. Direct R&D efforts to areas promising broad economic returns in advanced technology and productivity
3. Ensure that new or emerging technologies are evaluated, and measures are taken to prevent undesirable impacts.
Program area: Knowledge development
Program-remedy: 1. An Advanced Technology Institute, to apply quickly research and inventions to developing new products and applying cost-saving production techniques
2. Help universities and R&D centers improve and modernize laboratories and research tools
3. Enlarge the scope of existing government technology assessment efforts
4. Reallocate military R&D toward civilian R&D
5. A national science program to educate future scientists and engineers in high- tech fields.
Program-prevent: National Technology Development and Application Policy.
Cost of program: -
Beneficiaries: Business and industry; educational and research institutions.

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