replied that technology was like an ice cube in the desert—you got temporary value out of it.
Another attendee asked if ITAR might only seem to have been successful because the funding of research and technology at universities was greater during the cold war? Funding is harder to obtain now, so universities cannot move as fast in their technology development as before. Ryder said that Lockheed Martin sent a good amount of money to universities. He worried that universities were unable to attract the breadth of talent necessary. Companies have a problem when they cannot talk to students about technology owing to ITAR restrictions. Ryder, however, believed that ITAR would force some of the better foreign students to return to their home countries. One attendee said that the country was awarding Ph.D.s to foreigners but not allowing them to work so they could stay in the country. We were creating our own competition overseas, he contended.
The participants continued to discuss incentives. Ryder commented that the earlier discussion on incentives had applied not only to internal efforts to incentivize but also to subcontractors and suppliers. Large companies are working to find ways to treat such incentives as investments and hoping that the DOD will do the same. While there are still pay raises and bonuses to reward individual work, the team approach could work if the team is rewarded as a group. Ryder did not know whether the prize mechanism discussed earlier would have the same motivating effect as pay raises and bonuses, but he did know that government needed to find incentives. The technology community needs to find ways to help people take risks, and prizes might be good in certain cases. Venture capital investment might be one way to incentivize a small company, but this might not work with large companies or government laboratories.