spend their time. What percentage of industrial scientists’ time is spent conducting research or development, managing others’ R&D research, assessing the R&D and technological capabilities of other firms (e.g. acquisition on collaboration candidates interacting with customers), collaborating and communicating with professionals outside the firm, or in production engineering? How much time is devoted to continuing education or simply keeping up with the research field? Time-use surveys, in which individuals are interviewed over a period of time or asked to maintain diaries, are an accepted way of addressing such questions and have been used in a variety of economic contexts such as to measure unpaid work as input for satellite accounts to national economic accounts and to help evaluate income and welfare policies (National Research Council, 2000a). This research method has not been used to better understand the innovation process, however. Some form of time-use survey is a candidate for a SESTAT special module.
A final suggestion was that federal agencies consider sponsoring additional targeted surveys of key professional groups of interest—for example, biotechnologists—collecting information on activities, output, relationships, and compensation well beyond that solicited in the NSF surveys of scientists and engineers.