• The United States has relied on importing talent on H1B visas when it has been unable to find the science and technological professionals at home.11 This practice has shielded the United States from experiencing a growing domestic shortage.

Because the federal government relies heavily, though not exclusively, on the private sector for much of its research and development, federal and private sector science and engineering (S&E) workforce needs are necessarily intertwined. The question of responsibility for workforce planning therefore arises. Is it the federal government’s responsibility to step in and take action? If so, what action?

This paper reviews options to manage and to mitigate the risks to U.S. technological advantage.

1  

Michael E. Porter and Debra van Opstal. U.S. Competitiveness 2001: Strengths, Vulnerabilities and Long-Term Priorities [p. 35]. Washington, DC: Council on Competitiveness, 2001. Original Source: Michael E. Porter and Scott Stern. The New Challenge to America’s Prosperity: Findings from the Innovation Index. Washington, DC: Council on Competitiveness, 1999.

2  

“The scale of doctoral programs has increased in several world regions, particularly Europe, Asia, and the Americas. This capacity building in doctoral S&E education is linked to national policies to develop an S&E infrastructure that more explicitly links universities to innovation and economic development.” (National Science Foundation. Science and Engineering Indicators 2002 [p. 2-41 & 2-43]. Arlington, VA: NSF, 2002. Available online: http://www.nsf.gov/sbe/srs/seind02/start.htm).

3  

“Foreign R&D expenditures for U.S. companies makes up 10.5 percent of all company-financed expenditures in 1997, and has grown in absolute dollars from 8 billion in 1989 to 14 billion in 1997.” U.S. Department of Commerce. Office of Technology Policy. Globalizing Industrial Research and Development [p. 35]. Washington, DC: Government Printing Office, 1999. Original source: U.S. Department of Commerce. Bureau of Economic Analysis. U.S. Direct Investment Abroad: Operations of U.S. Parent Companies and Their Foreign Affiliates. Washington, DC: U.S. Government Printing Office, annual b.

4  

Declining indicators include: U.S. fraction of global R&D investment (Michael E. Porter and Debra van Opstal. U.S. Competitiveness 2001: Strengths, Vulnerabilities and Long-Term Priorities [p. 32]. Washington, DC: Council on Competitiveness, 2001. Original source: National Science Foundation. Science and Engineering Indicators 2000 [Figure 2-27]. Arlington, VA: NSF, 2001. Available online: http://www.nsf.gov/sbe/srs/seind00/frames.htm); Fraction of worldwide peer-reviewed scientific papers authored by U.S. scientists (Michael E. Porter and Debra van Opstal. U.S. Competitiveness 2001: Strengths, Vulnerabilities and Long-Term Priorities [p. 33]. Washington, DC: Council on Competitiveness, 2001. Original Source: World Bank, World Development Indicators 2002 CD-ROM.); Proportion of domestic population earning science and engineering degrees (Michael E. Porter and Debra van Opstal. U.S. Competitiveness 2001: Strengths, Vulnerabilities and Long-Term Priorities [p. 21]. Washington, DC: Council on Competitiveness, 2001. Original Source: NCES. International Education Indicators: A Time Series Perspective, 1985-95 [Tables 15-1 and 15-4]. Washington, DC: Government Printing Office, 1999.); Number of practicing scientists and engineers in the U.S. (National Science Foundation. Science and



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