major actors shown in Figure 1.1. The most important of these for the purposes of this study are the following:

  • A large fraction of the graduate students recruited and graduated by U.S. research universities come from overseas.

  • The funding for IT research in U.S. research universities comes primarily from the federal government and secondarily from private sources, of which foreign corporations represent a small but growing percentage.

  • IT companies (small, medium-size, and large) must access global markets to design, manufacture, and sell their products and services. A growing percentage of employment in IT research and development is overseas for a variety of reasons, including market access, access to cutting-edge knowledge and consumers, and lower-cost trained personnel.

  • The creation of intellectual property in the field—whether formally protected or not—is the primary basis on which IT firms get started and continue to grow and compete over time. The flow of entrepreneurial talent out of universities into young start-up firms is particularly vital in the U.S. IT R&D ecosystem. The collaboration between U.S. universities and small, medium-size, and large IT firms enables the rapid productization and commercialization of the most promising discoveries. It is critical that the ability to connect intellectual property to markets be kept vibrant and efficient.

  • Access to financial capital at different stages of growth is one of the important characteristics of the U.S. market that has made it competitive since the dawn of the IT industry. These various capital flows are now far more complex and far more global.

These topics are discussed in the following chapters.

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