• Japan’s National Institute of Information and Communications Technology has an almost entirely government-funded budget of over $500 million that supports nearly 500 employees, 60 percent of whom are researchers.29 Another government-supported institution, the Research Institute of Telecommunications and Economics, carries out economics and policy research related to telecommunications.

Another development is that some U.S. academic telecommunications researchers have turned to foreign corporations for funding and have, according to information available to members of the committee, received funding from companies such as Toshiba (Japan), Huawei (China), and Samsung (Korea)—which have become formidable competitors of U.S. firms. To gain such support, academic institutions have sometimes been asked to surrender ownership or agree to co-ownership of intellectual property stemming from the research.

Finally, beyond research programs, many nations have signaled their commitment to telecommunications as a critical societal and economic element. In particular, China has fostered a strong and growing telecommunications industry. Briefers to the committee and reviewers of this report noted the increasing technical sophistication and competitiveness in pricing of Chinese equipment vendors.30 Countries such as Japan (e-Japan), Korea (e-Korea Vision 2006), and Taiwan (e-Taiwan) have launched national programs that aim to broadly promote the deployment, adoption, and use of information and telecommunications technologies. They feature a variety of elements ranging from research funding to policy reforms to incentives for broadband deployment to national standards and standards-development processes that (if only indirectly) aim to strengthen domestic industries.

29

See <http://www.nict.go.jp/overview/> or overview pamphlet at <http://www.nict.go.jp/overview/news/pdf-box/NICT-e.pdf>.

30

A 2004 Business Week article profiled one such prominent Chinese company, Huawei, noting that the company was spending 10 percent of its revenues on R&D. See Bruce Einhorn, “Huawei: More Than a Local Hero,” BusinessWeek Online, 2004, available online at <http://www.businessweek.com/magazine/content/04_41/b3903454.htm>. Also, for more insight into Chinese competitiveness and its implications for U.S. entrepreneurs, see Reed Hundt, In China’s Shadow: The Crisis of American Entrepreneurship, Yale University Press, New Haven, Conn., 2006.



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