activities, and broader measures of economic performance.

RECOMMENDATION 4-2: The National Center for Science and Engineering Statistics should build on its Business Research and Development and Innovation Survey (BRDIS) to improve its suite of innovation indicators in the following ways:

  • tabulate the results from BRDIS using the same cutoffs for firm size (as well as comparable industry sectors) that are used by OECD countries in order to facilitate international comparisons;
  • fund research exploring precisely what companies mean when they report an innovation or report no innovation on BRDIS—such research would help inform current policy debates;
  • broaden the innovations tracked by BRDIS to encompass organizational and marketing innovations, as well as new data algorithms;
  • consider adding a section to BRDIS on unmarketed innovations, giving respondents the opportunity to cite the main reason these innovations have not yet been marketed or implemented;
  • as funds permit, extend BRDIS to gather information on innovation-related expenditures in such areas as training and design; and
  • publish more results from BRDIS that link innovation to business characteristics, including the amount of research and development spending by U.S.-based companies outside of the United States. Production and distribution of such cross-tabulations should be timely, and they should address contemporary policy questions.

RECOMMENDATION 4-3: The Survey Sponsor Data Center at the National Science Foundation should house the Business Research and Development and Innovation Survey data, improving access to the data for National Center for Science and Engineering Statistics staff who develop the research and development statistics.

RECOMMENDATION 4-4: The National Center for Science and Engineering Statistics (NCSES) should begin a project to match its Business Research and Development and Innovation Survey data to data from ongoing surveys at the U.S. Census Bureau and the Bureau of Labor Statistics. It should use the resulting data linkages to develop measures of activities by high-growth firms, births and deaths of businesses linked to innovation outputs, and other indicators of firm dynamics, all of which should be tabulated by geographic and industry sector and by business size and business age to facilitate comparative analyses. NCSES should conduct a sensitivity analysis to fine-tune meaningful age categories for high-growth firms.

RECOMMENDATION 4-5: The National Center for Science and Engineering Statistics should make greater use of business practice data to track research and development spending and innovation-related jobs at a more detailed geographic and occupational level than is possible with government survey data.

Chapter 5: Measuring the Three K’s: Knowledge Generation, Knowledge Networks, and Knowledge Flows—Recommendations

RECOMMENDATION 5-1: The National Center for Science and Engineering Statistics should expand its current set of bibliometric indicators to develop additional measures of knowledge flows and networking patterns. Data on both coauthorship and citations should be exploited to a greater extent than is currently the case.

RECOMMENDATION 5-2: The National Center for Science and Engineering Statistics (NCSES) should make greater use of data from its Business Research and Development and Innovation Survey to provide indicators of payments and receipts for research and development services purchased from and sold to other countries. For this purpose, NCSES should continue collaboration with the U.S. Bureau of Economic Analysis on the linked dataset.

RECOMMENDATION 5-3: The National Center for Science and Engineering Statistics (NCSES) should continue to report statistics on knowledge-based capital and intangible assets obtained from other agencies as part of its data repository function. In addition, NCSES should seek to use data from the Business Research and Development and Innovation Survey on research and development and potentially also on innovation-related expenditures as valuable inputs to ongoing work in this area.



The National Academies | 500 Fifth St. N.W. | Washington, D.C. 20001
Copyright © National Academy of Sciences. All rights reserved.
Terms of Use and Privacy Statement