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Materials Science and Engineering for the 1990s: Maintaining Competitiveness in the Age of Materials
tation of the missions of the national laboratories toward industrial materials science and engineering interests could have a salutary effect on U.S. industrial competitiveness. (The role of National Institutes of Health laboratories as an asset to the pharmaceutical industry is illustrative.) To be effective in helping industry, federal R&D must be directed intelligently to problems of genuine interest to industry. The federal laboratories, especially the National Institute of Standards and Technology in its new role, could play a useful role in establishing test procedures, setting standards, assembling data collections, and transferring the technology to industry.
The committee endorses the goals adopted by the Congress in setting up the National Critical Materials Council, which should work with other agencies to ensure that the government carries out the facilitative functions as well as the more specific tasks identified above.
To accomplish the data collection and analysis that are critical to carrying out these tasks, the committee recommends that the National Critical Materials Council cooperate with other organizations such as the Office of Science and Technology Policy’s Committee on Materials, the National Science Foundation, the Department of Energy, the National Institute of Standards and Technology, the National Research Council, and the professional societies.