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Innovation

INNOVATION AND COMPETITIVENESS

The United States enjoys a vital, dynamic economy that is the largest national economy in the world. The vitality of that economy, as the National Academies’ report Rising Above the Gathering Storm eloquently conveys, “is derived in large part from the productivity of well-trained people and the steady stream of scientific and technical innovations they produce.”1 Over the last decade, however, Americans have engaged in critical discussions about the nation’s position in the global economy and the steps necessary to sustain the competitiveness of both our economy and the scientific enterprise that fuels its growth in the long run. (See Box 1-1.)

The disquiet about our competitiveness has found its voice among journalists and business leaders. Tom Friedman writes of a “flattened world” in which the economic playing field has been leveled through revolutionary forces—among them knowledge workers deployed throughout the world and networked through the creation of a global telecommunications system. Andy Grove, former CEO of Intel, contends: “If the world operates as one big market, every employee will compete with every person anywhere in the world who is capable of doing the same job. There are lots of them and many of them are hungry.” The Council on Competitiveness, under the banner of “Innovate or Abdicate,” advo-

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National Academy of Sciences, National Academy of Engineering, and the Institute of Medicine, Rising Above the Gathering Storm: Energizing and Employing America for a Brighter Economic Future (Washington, DC: The National Academies Press, 2007), 1.



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1 Innovation INNOvATION AND COMPETITIvENESS The United States enjoys a vital, dynamic economy that is the largest national economy in the world. The vitality of that economy, as the National Academies’ report Rising Aboe the Gathering Storm eloquently conveys, “is derived in large part from the productivity of well-trained people and the steady stream of scientific and technical innovations they produce.”1 Over the last decade, however, Americans have engaged in critical discussions about the nation’s position in the global economy and the steps necessary to sustain the competitiveness of both our economy and the scientific enter- prise that fuels its growth in the long run. (See Box 1-1.) The disquiet about our competitiveness has found its voice among journalists and business leaders. Tom Friedman writes of a “flattened world” in which the economic playing field has been leveled through rev- olutionary forces—among them knowledge workers deployed through- out the world and networked through the creation of a global telecom- munications system. Andy Grove, former CEO of Intel, contends: “If the world operates as one big market, every employee will compete with every person anywhere in the world who is capable of doing the same job. There are lots of them and many of them are hungry.” The Council on Competitiveness, under the banner of “Innovate or Abdicate,” advo- 1 National Academy of Sciences, National Academy of Engineering, and the Institute of Medicine, Rising Aboe the Gathering Storm: Energizing and Employing America for a Brighter Economic Future (Washington, DC: The National Academies Press, 2007), 1. 

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0 SCIENCE PROFESSIONALS Box 1-1 The Context for Innovation and Competitiveness Policy The United States takes deserved pride in the vitality of its economy, which forms the foundations of our high quality of life, our national security, and our hope that our children and grandchildren will inherit ever greater opportunities. That vitality is derived in large part from the productivity of well-trained people and the steady stream of scientific and technical innovations they produce. Without high-quality, knowledge-intensive jobs and the innovative enterprises that lead to discovery and new technology, our economy will suffer and our people will face a lower standard of living. Economic studies conducted even before the information- technology revolution have shown that as much as 85 peecent of measured growth in U.S. income per capita was due to technological change. Today, Americans are feeling the gradual and subtle effects of globalization that challenge the economic and strategic leadership that the United States has enjoyed since World War II. A substantial portion of our workforce finds itself in direct competition for jobs with lower wage workers around the globe, and lead- ing-edge scientific and engineering work is being accomplished in many parts of the world. Thanks to globalization, driven by modern communications and other advances, workers in virtually every sector must now face competitors who live just a mouse-click away in Ireland, Finland, China, India, or dozens of other na- tions whose economies are growing. This has been aptly referred to as “the Death of Distance.” Having reviewed trends in the United States and abroad, the committee is deeply concerned that the scientific and technological building blocks critical to our economic leadership are eroding at a time when many other nations are gathering strength.… Although the U.S. economy is doing well today, current trends indi- cate…that the United States may not fare as well in the future without government intervention. This nation must prepare with great urgency to preserve its strategic and economic security. Because other nations have, and probably will continue to have, the competitive advantage of a low wage structure, the United States must compete by optimizing its knowledge-based resources, particularly in science and technology, and by sustaining the most fertile environment for new and revitalized industries and the well-paying jobs they bring. —Excerpted from NAS/NAE/IOM’s, Rising Above the Gathering Storm: Energizing and Em- ploying Americans for a Brighter Economic Future (Washington, DC: The National Academies Press, 2007), 1-4. cates a national effort to spur innovation as the intensification of a global knowledge economy has put pressure on the United States to remain a step ahead of the competition and ensure the United States is the premier place in the world to innovate.2 2 Thomas L. Friedman, The World Is Flat: A Brief History of the st Century (New york: Farrar, Giroux, and Strauss, 2005). See also Andrew S. Grove, High Output Management

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 INNOVATION In May 2005, senators Lamar Alexander (R-Tennessee) and Jeff Bin- gaman (D-New Mexico) asked the National Academies to respond to the question “What are the top 10 actions, in priority order, that federal poli- cymakers could take to enhance the science and technology enterprise so that the United States can successfully compete, prosper, and be secure in the global community of the 21st century?” The Academies acted quickly to produce Rising Aboe the Gathering Storm, a report that provides recom- mendations for action to improve K-12 science and mathematics educa- tion; to make the United States the most attractive setting in which to study and perform research; to sustain and strengthen the nation’s com- mitment to long-term basic research that fuels the economy and secures our country; and to ensure that the United States is the premier place in the world to promote innovation. Rising Aboe the Gathering Storm and the administration’s subsequent American Competitiveness Initiative, along with the recently passed America COMPETES Act,3 have placed innovation and competitiveness among the nation’s highest policy priorities. The visibility and momentum of the competitiveness agenda provide an opportunity to shed light on each of the components of the U.S. science and engineering enterprise to ensure that they will contribute all they can and must in order to achieve our national goals. One of those components is the education and training of a science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) workforce that brings advanced scientific and technical knowledge, along with key business skills, to innovation in our private and public sectors. Our focus here, then, is on ensuring that our institutions of higher learning provide high-quality postsecondary and graduate education, including master’s education, that meets students’ and employers’ needs. INvESTINg IN THE KNOWLEDgE WORKFORCE Many countries in addition to the United States now emphasize the important role that knowledgeable and creative people play in any com- petitive field and therefore, by extension, the critical role of higher edu- cation in competitiveness. Ireland transformed itself from a relatively impoverished European nation into a technology hub with a gross domes- tic product among the highest in the European Union. It did so through (New york: Vintage Books, 1995), and Council on Competitiveness, Innoate America, http:// innovateamerica.org/ (accessed October 20, 2007). The council’s calls for action and recom- mendations have been echoed and amplified by such organizations as the Association of American Universities in National Defense Education and Innoation Initiatie: Meeting America’s Economic and Security Challenges in the st Century. This report can be found at http://www.aau.edu/reports/NDEII.pdf (accessed October 20, 2007). 3America Creating Opportunities, ibid.

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 SCIENCE PROFESSIONALS tax policy, incentives for foreign investment, and a substantial investment in the education of its people.4 The European Commission now urges its member states to increase the number of STEM graduates and argues that “investment in learning . . . [is] more critical than ever in the context of a ‘knowledge based society’. . . it pays off for all concerned—the state, the employer and the individual.” The European Union considers education to be a key part of its drive to achieve the goals outlined in the Lisbon Strategy “to become the most competitive and dynamic knowledge-based economy in the world.”5 Similarly, India and China are taking steps to increase and enhance STEM education and to enlarge their workforces in these areas.6 To compete, then, the United States must pursue a two- pronged course: first, to invest in research at the leading edge and find new ways to convert that knowledge to use; and second, to stay ahead of the competition in the development of its science and engineering workforce. Rising Aboe the Gathering Storm provided compelling recommenda- tions for sustaining and increasing our knowledge workforce:7 • Annually recruit 10,000 science and mathematics teachers through scholarships and strengthen the skills of 250,000 teachers through training and education programs; • Enlarge the pipeline of students who are prepared to enter college and graduate with a STEM degree by increasing the number of students who pass advanced placement and international baccalaureate science and mathematics courses; • Increase the number and proportion of U.S. citizens who earn bachelor’s degrees in the physical sciences, life sciences, engineering, and mathematics by providing 25,000 new four-year undergraduate scholar- ships each year; • Increase the number of U.S. citizens who pursue graduate study in areas of national need by funding 5,000 new graduate fellowships each year; • Provide federal incentives for continuing education in STEM fields; and 4 NAS/NAE/IOM, Rising Aboe the Gathering Storm, 199. 5 http://ec.europa.eu/growthandjobs/areas/fiche10_en.htm (accessed October 19, 2007). http://europa.eu/scadplus/glossary/education_en.htm (accessed October 20, 2007). 6 In India and the Knowledge Economy: Leeraging Strengths and Opportunities, a report that emerged from high-level interactions with policymakers in India, the World Bank urged India to broaden participation in science, engineering, information technology, and research. See http://info.worldbank.org/etools/docs/library/138271/IndiaKEExecutiveSummary% 5B1%5D.pdf (accessed January 30, 2008). 7 NAS/NAE/IOM, Rising Aboe the Gathering Storm, 5-7, 9-10.

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 INNOVATION • Continue to improve visa processing and immigration systems to ensure that international students and scholars have access to our educa- tional institutions and research. In passing the America COMPETES Act, Congress laid the groundwork for the implementation of many of these recommendations if and when program funds are appropriated. The act added to the list of important steps in several key ways. For example, it asked the National Academies to identify actions to increase the participation of underrepresented minorities in STEM fields, because the full participation of all our nation’s talented individuals in science and engineering is critical to our competitiveness. It also authorized the National Science Foundation (NSF) to create a new program of grants to four-year institutions that will provide for the creation or expansion of professional science master’s (PSM) programs. PSM programs offer our nation an opportunity to provide not just more advanced scientists, but a new kind of scientist with multidisciplinary skills and experiences. 8 Through the authorization of a PSM program at the NSF, Congress acknowledged the importance to our economy and government at this point in history of a type of professional who possesses an advanced knowledge of science, a deeper understanding of business or manage- ment, and a range of practical workplace skills that allow for the produc- tive and innovative application of that knowledge. Science—and its application in the workplace—has itself gener- ated changes in and even enabled or created new fields and industries. Advances in computing power and storage capacity have created whole new fields, such as business intelligence and bioinformatics. Business intelligence, which uses advanced mathematics in analyzing large data sets to inform business strategy, only now exists as a field because of recent developments in mass data storage, which in turn exist because of research on giant magnetoresistance that led to phenomenal growth in data storage capacity over the last two decades. Similarly, bioinformat- ics provides an example of a field that emerged in the same period of time through the productive interaction of two disciplines—computer science and biology—to contribute to such important scientific endeavors as genomic research. A third example, biotechnology has developed in the 8 Michael S. Teitelbaum, “A New Science Degree to Meet Industry Needs,” Issues in Science and Technology, Fall 2006. Sheila Tobias and Leslie B. Sims, “Training Science and Mathemat- ics Professional for an Innovation Economy,” Industry and Higher Education, August 2006. Christopher T. Hill, “The Post-Scientific Society,” Issues in Science and Technology, Fall 2007, 78–84. See also Council of Graduate Schools, “Graduate Education: The Backbone of Ameri- can Competitiveness and Innovation, 2007”; this report can be found at http://www.cgsnet. org/portals/0/pdf/GR_GradEdAmComp_0407.pdf (accessed October 20, 2007).

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 SCIENCE PROFESSIONALS latter decades of the 20th century by applying advances in the life sciences to the development of new treatments for disease. In each of these cases, a new discipline or industry unknown just two decades ago has emerged, and in these areas professionals trained at the master’s level in the sciences may be key contributors and innovators in the workplace. Biotechnology and other science-based industries, such as computer services, require people who can bring advanced scientific knowledge along with a broader set of skills that allow for the produc- tive exchange and implementation of that knowledge in the workplace. Master’s degree programs are able to provide students with the opportunity to obtain advanced science knowledge beyond the baccalaureate and can also incorporate opportunities for students to obtain, through class work or project experience and internships, the ability to communicate well, work in teams, and other skills. Industry needs what some have referred to as the “T-shaped” professional: individuals with depth and breadth. They have “contributory knowledge” (deep learning in the science) as well as “interactional/articulatory expertise” (breadth of workplace skills). Orga- nizations whose staff are not only knowledgeable but are able to share that knowledge effectively are positioned for greater success.9 REFORM IN gRADuATE EDuCATION Advocates for reform in graduate education have voiced the need for new types of programs since the mid-1990s. In Reshaping the Graduate Education of Scientists and Engineers, the National Academies’ Committee on Science, Engineering, and Public Policy found that more than half of new Ph.D.s in the sciences and engineering were pursuing careers outside of academia. That study recommended that, in addition to providing a solid grounding in science, doctoral programs should incorporate into their curricula opportunities for graduate students to obtain important skills—for example, communication skills—that would enhance their work in nonacademic settings.10 Several subsequent efforts to reenvi- sion or reform doctoral education have also urged that programs include opportunities for acquiring a broad range of skills.11 9 Marcelo Cataldo, Kathleen M. Carley, and Linda Argote, “The Effect of Personnel Schemes on Knowledge Transfer,” found at http://www.casos.cs.cmu.edu/events/ conferences/2000/pdf/Marcelo-Cataldo.pdf (accessed December 11, 2007). 10 NAS/NAE/IOM, Reshaping the Graduate Education of Scientists and Engineers (Washing- ton, DC: National Academy Press, 1995). 11 Carnegie Initiative on the Doctorate, http://www.carnegiefoundation.org/programs/ index.asp?key=29. Re-envisioning the Ph.D., http://www.grad.washington.edu/envision/ resources/studies.html. Woodrow Wilson National Fellowship Foundation: The Responsive Ph.D., http://www.woodrow.org/responsivephd/ (accessed January 28, 2008).

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 INNOVATION The NSF also took action to help spur this innovation in graduate edu- cation by establishing the Integrative Graduate Education and Research Traineeship (IGERT) program in 1997. The goal of the IGERT program is to catalyze a culture change in graduate education to equip U.S. science and engineering graduate students to address the challenges of the 21st century by engaging in research that crosses disciplinary, departmental, or even institutional boundaries and provides student trainees with deep knowledge in a field while learning the skills needed to work as part of an interdisciplinary team. Two years later, the NSF created the Graduate Teaching Fellows in K-12 Education program (GK-12) program to link the K-12 sciences and mathematics community to the research communities and provide funding to graduate students in NSF-supported STEM dis- ciplines so that they may acquire, through interactions with teachers and students in K-12 schools, additional skills that will broadly prepare them for professional and scientific careers. Both IGERT and GK-12 expand the skills and capabilities of the traditional Ph.D. recipient. (See Box 1-2.) There have been important experiments in master’s education in the natural sciences—experiments that laid the groundwork for such action as the congressional authorization of a PSM program through the America COMPETES Act. Our survey of the role of the master’s degree across disciplines within science and without shows a lack of clarity as to the meaning of the degree and the skills/knowledge/capability it denotes to the recipient. This mystifies students and employers alike and represents a lost opportunity: for science-educated baccalaureates to continue along a science pathway; for the nation, which requires highly educated and skilled innovators. It is to master’s education, including such experi- ments as the PSM, that we turn in the next chapter. The PSM represents an antidote to the lost opportunity; one that reflects both employer needs (the demand side) and university flexibility and creatively (as a supplier of trained talent).

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 SCIENCE PROFESSIONALS Box 1-2 Reform in Graduate Education: IGERT and GK-12 Since 1997 the NSF has supported a training program called the Integrative Graduate Education and Research Traineeship (IGERT) (www.nsf.gov/crssprgm/ igert/intro.jsp) whose goal is to equip U.S. science and engineering graduate students with in-depth knowledge in a disciplinary field while learning the skills needed to work as part of an interdisciplinary team. Their training involves courses and other activities that will provide them with a working knowledge of science, business, technical, social, ethical, and policy issues. They have the opportunity to pursue their research with internships in industry, government labs, foreign institutions, or other academic sites where they can engage in collaborative ac- tivities. Awards are made on a competitive basis to institutions that propose an interdisciplinary research project involving a diverse group of faculty members and students crossing disciplinary, departmental, or even institutional boundaries. The awards are made as five-year grants to academic institutions. The project must include strategies for recruitment, mentoring, and retention of members of groups underrepresented in science and engineering. Another NSF program, Graduate Teaching Fellows in K-12 Education (GK-12) (www.nsfgk12.org), provides funding to graduate students in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) disciplines to acquire additional skills that will broadly prepare them for professional and scientific careers in the 21st century. NSF developed the GK-12 program in recognition that STEM graduate students, in addition to being competent researchers, must be able to communicate science and research to a variety of audiences. As the GK-12 Fellows bring their research and practice into the K-12 classroom, they gain skills in explaining science to people of all ages. By working in K-12 formal and informal learning environments, the Fellows not only stimulate interest in science and engineering among students and teachers, but also apply interdisciplinary thinking and demonstrate the close connection between education and research. Since its inception in 1999, the GK- 12 program has funded over 200 projects in more than 140 different universities throughout the United States and Puerto Rico.