. "7. Comparisons of Efforts in Materials Science and Engineering of Selected Nations." Materials Science and Engineering for the 1990s: Maintaining Competitiveness in the Age of Materials. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press, 1989.
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Materials Science and Engineering for the 1990s: Maintaining Competitiveness in the Age of Materials
as defense, industry, and education. The Ministry of Research and Technology focuses government R&D on national industrial technology programs, as well as providing oversight and management of the nationalized industries. Within the ministerial system, the government operates a host of research establishments and laboratories. By far the most extensive and important agency for R&D is the Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique (CNRS). Attached to the Ministry of Education, it is organized along the lines of the traditional academic disciplines and supports primarily basic research. CNRS does not have a research directorate for materials science and engineering, but it has established crosscutting programs in communications science and new materials. In 1988, CNRS had a budget of about Fr 9.0 billion, about 24 percent of the total civilian R&D expenditures, and employed almost 10,000 scientists and 15,000 support staff in 1,350 laboratories or universities, other government agencies, and industry.
As a complement to their internal research efforts, the French have sought to extend their technology base through international cooperative programs. For the most part these are geared toward industrial development and involve multination participation under the auspices of the European Communities. The two most notable programs are the European Strategic Program for Research in Information Technology (ESPRIT) and the European Research Coordinating Agency (EUREKA). The latter is the French equivalent of the U.S. Strategic Defense Initiative program but is oriented to technology, not defense. Both programs require industry participation in funding and conducting research.
The United Kingdom
Research and development in the United Kingdom is extremely pluralistic and decentralized and in many respects resembles the U.S. R&D system in that policy and planning are carried out by several government departments. Although new programs have been established in the United Kingdom and new approaches such as collaborative research are being tried, the elemental organization of R&D has remained fairly static over the years. On the whole, no group within government coordinates its $6.1 billion per year R&D program, and individual departments operate autonomously. Research and Development (ACARD) is the main body influencing coordination of applied R&D between government and external groups. However, it has no management function, nor does it allocate resources; it does provide the primary conduit for industry access to top government department heads.
Most university research funds come from the government’s budget and are administered by the Department of Education and Science. In 1983 the department spent about $1 billion on university research, a sum that included major funding for four major research laboratories operated by the Advisory