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Future R&D Environments: A Report for the National Institute of Standards and Technology Future R&D Environments A Report for the National Institute of Standards and Technology Committee on Future Environments for the National Institute of Standards and Technology Division on Engineering and Physical Sciences National Research Council NATIONAL ACADEMY PRESS Washington, D.C.
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Future R&D Environments: A Report for the National Institute of Standards and Technology NATIONAL ACADEMY PRESS 2101 Constitution Avenue, N.W.Washington, DC20418 NOTICE: The project that is the subject of this report was approved by the Governing Board of the National Research Council, whose members are drawn from the councils of the National Academy of Sciences, the National Academy of Engineering, and the Institute of Medicine. The members of the committee responsible for the report were chosen for their special competences and with regard for appropriate balance. This study was supported by Contract No. 50SBNBOC1003 between the National Academy of Sciences and the National Institute of Standards and Technology. Any opinions, findings, conclusions, or recommendations expressed in this publication are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the views of the organizations or agencies that provided support for the project. International Standard Book Number 0-309-08336-2 Additional copies of this report are available from National Academy Press, 2101 Constitution Avenue, N.W., Lockbox 285, Washington, DC20055; (800) 624-6242 or (202) 334-3313 (in the Washington metropolitan area); Internet, http://www.nap.edu Copyright 2002 by the National Academy of Sciences. All rights reserved. Printed in the United States of America
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Future R&D Environments: A Report for the National Institute of Standards and Technology THE NATIONAL ACADEMIES National Academy of Sciences National Academy of Engineering Institute of Medicine National Research Council The National Academy of Sciences is a private, nonprofit, self-perpetuating society of distinguished scholars engaged in scientific and engineering research, dedicated to the furtherance of science and technology and to their use for the general welfare. Upon the authority of the charter granted to it by the Congress in 1863, the Academy has a mandate that requires it to advise the federal government on scientific and technical matters. Dr. Bruce M. Alberts is president of the National Academy of Sciences. The National Academy of Engineering was established in 1964, under the charter of the National Academy of Sciences, as a parallel organization of outstanding engineers. It is autonomous in its administration and in the selection of its members, sharing with the National Academy of Sciences the responsibility for advising the federal government. The National Academy of Engineering also sponsors engineering programs aimed at meeting national needs, encourages education and research, and recognizes the superior achievements of engineers. Dr. Wm. A. Wulf is president of the National Academy of Engineering. The Institute of Medicine was established in 1970 by the National Academy of Sciences to secure the services of eminent members of appropriate professions in the examination of policy matters pertaining to the health of the public. The Institute acts under the responsibility given to the National Academy of Sciences by its congressional charter to be an adviser to the federal government and, upon its own initiative, to identify issues of medical care, research, and education. Dr. Kenneth I. Shine is president of the Institute of Medicine. The National Research Council was organized by the National Academy of Sciences in 1916 to associate the broad community of science and technology with the Academy’s purposes of furthering knowledge and advising the federal government. Functioning in accordance with general policies determined by the Academy, the Council has become the principal operating agency of both the National Academy of Sciences and the National Academy of Engineering in providing services to the government, the public, and the scientific and engineering communities. The Council is administered jointly by both Academies and the Institute of Medicine. Dr. Bruce M. Alberts and Dr. Wm. A. Wulf are chairman and vice chairman, respectively, of the National Research Council.
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Future R&D Environments: A Report for the National Institute of Standards and Technology COMMITTEE ON FUTURE ENVIRONMENTS FOR THE NATIONAL INSTITUTE OF STANDARDS AND TECHNOLOGY KENNETH H. KELLER, University of Minnesota, Chair MILTON CHANG, iNCUBiC, LLC WILLIAM E. COYNE, 3M Corporation JAMES W. DALLY, University of Maryland, College Park CHARLES P. DeLISI, Boston University C. WILLIAM GEAR, NEC Research Institute, Inc. ROY LEVIN, Microsoft Corporation RICHARD L. POPP, Stanford University School of Medicine NATHAN ROSENBERG, Stanford University THOMAS A. SAPONAS, Agilent Technologies Staff NORMAN METZGER, Study Director MICHAEL MCGEARY, Consultant (Acting Study Director, November 20, 2001—March 5, 2002) STEPHEN A. MERRILL, Executive Director, Board on Science, Technology, and Economic Policy MARIA P. JONES, Senior Project Assistant
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Future R&D Environments: A Report for the National Institute of Standards and Technology DIVISION ON ENGINEERING AND PHYSICAL SCIENCES WILLIAM A. WULF, National Academy of Engineering, Chair WILLIAM F. BALLHAUS, JR., The Aerospace Corporation PETER M. BANKS, XR Ventures, LLC SHIRLEY CHIANG, University of California at Davis MARSHALL H. COHEN, California Institute of Technology INGRID DAUBECHIES, Princeton University SAMUEL H. FULLER, Analog Devices, Inc. PAUL H. GILBERT, Parsons Brinckerhoff International, Inc. WESLEY T. HUNTRESS, JR., Carnegie Institution TREVOR O. JONES, BIOMEC, Inc. NANCY G. LEVESON, Massachusetts Institute of Technology CORA B. MARRETT, University of Massachusetts at Amherst ROBERT M. NEREM, Georgia Institute of Technology JANET L. NORWOOD, Former Commissioner, U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics LAWRENCE T. PAPAY, Science Applications International Corporation WILLIAM H. PRESS, Los Alamos National Laboratory ROBERT J. SPINRAD, Xerox PARC (retired) BARRY M. TROST, Stanford University JAMES C. WILLIAMS, Ohio State University PETER D. BLAIR, Executive Director
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Future R&D Environments: A Report for the National Institute of Standards and Technology Preface In September 2000, the deputy director of the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) asked the National Research Council to perform the following task: The Commission on Physical Sciences, Mathematics, and Applications [which as of January 1, 2001, became part of the Division on Engineering and Physical Sciences] will examine forces and trends over the next 5 to 10 years pertinent to NIST’s mission. The basis will be the judgments of a well-rounded committee, supported by a facilitated workshop probing a range of possible trends and forces in science and technology, the economy, industry, and other areas that NIST should consider in its future planning. The examination will be complemented by a review of recent presentations at the Academies’ symposia on frontiers in science and engineering. Neither a “roadmap” nor projections of specific future outcomes will be provided. The aim was to assist NIST in planning future programs in fulfillment of its stated role of “strengthening the U.S. economy and improving the quality of life by working with industry to develop and apply technology, measurements, and standards.” Against this, the National Research Council was asked to set out a range of possible directions that science and its technological applications may take, influenced by forces and trends in the economy and in industrial management and strength, and, of course, not least by current frontiers in science and technology. NIST did not ask the National Research Council to provide specific predictions or projections. Nor did it request guidance on how NIST management might translate possible future directions identified by the committee into specific programs and organization.
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Future R&D Environments: A Report for the National Institute of Standards and Technology Accordingly, the Committee on Future Environments for the National Institute of Standards and Technology sought neither to predict nor to project, but rather to set out a range of possible futures for the direction of science and technology. It approached the task in several complementary ways. First, it broke the task into examining “push,” “pull,” and “contextual” factors. “Push” gathered together the committee’s judgments on possible “futures” for a set of scientific and technical fields, focusing on biology and medicine, materials, and information technology. “Pull” focused on societal demand factors—the economic, social, environmental, and political needs and sensitivities that would promote or inhibit research and development in certain areas of science and technology, as well as innovations based on that R&D. Under contextual factors, the committee considered a set of issues such as changes in the organization and support of R&D in both the public and private sectors, educational goals of students and methods of delivering education, and patterns of investment by the private sector, all of which might be expected to change the process by which ideas move from research to product. While obviously this classification of factors is somewhat arbitrary, the committee nevertheless found it a powerful organizing principle for its task. Secondly, the committee commissioned several papers pertinent to its task. These papers examined how other organizations had approached the challenge of identifying future directions for science and technology and what trends they found in science and technology, in the economy, and in the organization and management of industrial research and development. The papers are appended to this report. Finally, the committee called on multiple resources in making its judgments. It took care to assure that its own membership provided a broad range of expertise and experience. (A list of members of the committee with brief biographies is Appendix A to this report.) And it convened a workshop over 3 days (July 20-22, 2001) at the Science Museum of Minnesota in St. Paul, at which 21 distinguished individuals examined the issues in terms of the “push,” “pull,” and “contextual” factor taxonomy. The committee is enormously grateful to these participants, who gave up a summer weekend to assist the committee in its task. The workshop agenda, a list of workshop participants, and a summary of the workshop proceedings can be found in Appendixes B, C, and D. In addition to holding discussions at the workshop itself, the committee met three times during the course of the project: May 9-10, 2001, in Washington, D.C.; June 26, in Palo Alto, California; and August 8-9, again in Palo Alto. Although every attempt was made to ensure a full range of expertise on the committee and at the workshop, the range of potential topics was vast. Some of the differences in emphasis in the report—for example, the number of topics in biological science and engineering compared to those in information science and technology—are in part a result of the kinds of knowledge and experience pos-
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Future R&D Environments: A Report for the National Institute of Standards and Technology sessed by the 10 members of the committee and the 21 additional participants in the workshop. Many people eased the committee’s work, and it is difficult to acknowledge them all. However, special thanks go to Laurie Haller of the Science Museum of Minnesota, who in countless and essential ways enabled a successful workshop; to Marsha Riebe of the Hubert H. Humphrey Institute of Public Affairs of the University of Minnesota; and to Maria Jones of the National Research Council, who handled with patience and good humor countless logistical and organizational details for the work of the committee. The committee is also grateful to Michael Casassa and Paul Doremus of the NIST Program Office for their helpful coordination of the committee’s work with NIST senior management. Finally, the committee wishes to thank Karen Brown, the deputy director of NIST, for setting before the National Research Council a challenging, at times provocative, and always interesting task. Kenneth H. Keller, Chair Committee on Future Environments for the National Institute of Standards and Technology
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Future R&D Environments: A Report for the National Institute of Standards and Technology Acknowledgement of Reviewers This report has been reviewed in draft form by individuals chosen for their diverse perspectives and technical expertise, in accordance with procedures approved by the National Research Council’s (NRC’s) Report Review Committee. The purpose of this independent review is to provide candid and critical comments that will assist the institution in making its published report as sound as possible and to ensure that the report meets institutional standards for objectivity, evidence, and responsiveness to the study charge. The review comments and draft manuscript remain confidential to protect the integrity of the deliberative process. We wish to thank the following individuals for their review of this report: Deborah Boehm-Davis, George Mason University, George Bugliarello, Polytechnic University, Matthew Ganz, Navigator Technologies Ventures, John Hopcroft, Cornell University, Robert Langer, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, David J. Lipman, National Institutes of Health, W. James Nelson, Stanford University, Steven Popper, RAND, and Richard N. Zare, Stanford University. Although the reviewers listed above provided many constructive comments and suggestions, they were not asked to endorse the conclusions or recommendations, nor did they see the final draft of the report before its release. The review of this report was overseen by Robert J. Spinrad, XEROX Corporation (retired),
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Future R&D Environments: A Report for the National Institute of Standards and Technology and Alexander Flax, consultant. Appointed by the National Research Council, they were responsible for making certain that an independent examination of this report was carried out in accordance with institutional procedures and that all review comments were carefully considered. Responsibility for the final content of this report rests entirely with the authoring committee and the institution.
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Future R&D Environments: A Report for the National Institute of Standards and Technology Contents EXECUTIVE SUMMARY 1 1 INTRODUCTION 7 2 PUSH FACTORS 9 Biological Science and Engineering, 10 Molecular and Cell Biology, 10 Synthetic-Biologic Interactions, 15 Medical Devices and Instrumentation, 17 E-Medicine and Health Care Autonomy, 19 Genetically Modified Organisms, 20 Materials Science and Technology, 21 Nanotechnology, 21 Microelectromechanical Systems, 24 Fuel Cells, 25 Materials for Electromechanical Applications, 26 Computer and Information Science and Technology, 27 Fundamental Drivers, 27 System Issues, 28 Ergonomic Issues, 28 New Drivers, 30 Information Technology and Medicine, 31
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Future R&D Environments: A Report for the National Institute of Standards and Technology 3 CONTEXTUAL FACTORS 33 Evolution of the U.S. Innovation System, 33 Organization of Research, 36 People, 41 Patterns of Investment, 43 Public Policy Issues, 45 4 PULL FACTORS 49 International Challenges, 50 Antiterrorism, 50 Globalization, 51 Biological Science and Engineering, 52 Computer and Information Science and Technology, 54 Environmental Issues, 57 International Security and the Global Economy, 59 5 CONCLUSIONS 63 APPENDIXES A Biographical Sketches of Committee Members 71 B Workshop Agenda 75 C Workshop Participants 77 D Workshop Summary 80 E Recent Reports on Future Trends in Science and Technology Michael McGeary 100 F Trends in the Economy and Industrial Strength Kevin Finneran 129 G Innovation’s Quickenng Pace: Summary and Extrapolation of Frontiers of Science/ Frontiers of Engineering Papers and Presentations James Schultz 143 H Trends in Science and Technology Patrick Young 167 I Trends in Industrial R&D Management and Organization Alden S. Bean 199