Science3 the contribution of public science to industrial technology is examined. In particular, the authors traced the number of citations of scientific research papers in industry's patent applications. They found that on average 73 percent of the papers cited by U.S. industry patents came from the public science domain. Only 27 percent were authored by industrial scientists. Furthermore, reliance of the biomedical and chemical industries on public science was much more intense. In biomedicine some 17,000 citations were reviewed—12,700 were generated by universities; 3,400 by national laboratories; and 900 by industry.

Expanding the collaboratory program to include international collaboration will help foster first-rate research. Collaboratories can play a crucial role in ensuring the accuracy of data and thus elevate quality in scientific discovery while providing unique opportunities in education. Collaboratories can also provide a tremendous opportunity for small countries to participate in large science projects and make significant contributions to creative state-of-the-art research. For example, in medical training, many schools face difficulties in providing students will real-life experience with rare diseases. An international data bank could be used to develop simulation systems that give medical students hands-on experience. Collaboratory cooperation could also prove essential by allowing institutions to share information and provide real-time professional consultation and thus improve diagnosis and treatment. In short, collaboratories provide fertile ground to enable laboratories with complementary expertise and mutual interests to share information and coordinate research plans irrespective of geographic distance.


F. Naim, K.S. Hamilton, and D. Olivast, The Increasing Linkage Between U.S. Technology and Public Science, Chi Research, Inc., Haddon Heights, N.J., Research Policy Report 932, 1997.

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