Increase the Economic Benefits from U.S. Science and Technology Through Enhanced Industry-University-Government Cooperation

This is no time to rest on our laurels. Japan and other countries around the world will continue to improve their own approaches to innovation. The United States must do the same. Although some aspects of federal support for civilian R&D are controversial, there is clearly room for better approaches to cooperation between industry, university, and government sectors in research, development, and commercialization.

  1. U.S. industry, universities, and government should continue to increase investments in science and technology and develop new collaborative mechanisms that increase the economic returns on this investment. Partnerships focused on important commercial technologies linked with agency or broader national needs should be a particular priority. Resolving the issue of foreign participation in such programs, and participation by US.-based companies in foreign government programs, is a pressing task for the future.

Expand Market Opportunities for U.S. Science and Technology-Based Products in Japan and Globally

As this report documents, Japanese market access barriers have played a major role in differential economic benefits that Japan and the United States have derived from science and technology cooperation. Expanding opportunities for sales in foreign markets of U.S. science and technology-based products is increasingly essential to maintaining U.S. capabilities to generate and utilize innovation. Although there is a range of views on the task force regarding appropriate trade policy, there is agreement on several U.S. priorities for the future.

  1. Effective implementation of the Uruguay Round will advance U.S. interests considerably. In future multilateral negotiations the United States should focus on areas where barriers to participation in the Japanese market continue to arise: direct investment and competition policy.

  2. The U.S. Trade Representative's Office, U.S. Patent and Trademark Office, and U.S. industry should develop a process to identify patent applications by US. citizens in Japan and perhaps other countries that covers major scientific and technological advances to ensure that these critical patents receive timely and effective protection.

  3. The United States should explore areas for cooperation and coordination in trade policy and in other areas with Japan and other countries to promote more open access to markets and economies in developing countries. As more developing countries recognize the value of foreign direct investment in raising their technology levels, the United States and Japan can have a greater impact when working together to encourage adherence to multilateral rules, and discourage national approaches that feature focused technology transfer as a condition for market participation. The United States and Japan should also work to develop common approaches to emerging issues on the multilateral agenda, such as trade and the environment.

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