In looking at technology external to the company that you are interested in, there are a number of things you can do (see Figure 5.1). You can start with doing nothing. You can just read about it. You can search around. You can attract some students to have them work or actually have them do the research at the university under contract. You can even acquire the technology or the company that has the technology.
Thomas Manuel commented earlier on the global supply of technology. Universities in the United States are just one place outside of corporations where good science and engineering are done. There is always this increase and faster growth of research and knowledge. There are more and more spin-off companies coming out of the universities, and this talent pool is growing. Furthermore, there has been a shift in the federal government's spending from defense to more industrial-related R&D.
At Air Products we do work at national laboratories. We also work with other companies, both large companies, in the case of Chemical Industry Environmental Technology Projects—a limited liability company that we formed with DuPont, Akzo Nobel—and with a lot of Small Business Innovation Research-type companies that bring a lot to the table from a feasibility standpoint in terms of new ideas. But in the remainder of this paper, I focus on the industry-university relationships and partnerships.
As shown in Box 5.2, the size and purpose of the research enterprise have grown substantially over the past several decades. Research during the pre-World War II era was mostly a search for new knowledge, with a small amount of government funding and very few research partnerships among the different sectors. During the post-Cold War era, however, federal agencies funded most of the research focused on defense and health. The tot al amount of research conducted in the United States increased substantially, and significant discoveries were made in electronics and biomedical research. At the same time, industrial research grew substantially as well. A few of the "high-tech" industries were born. In addition, the interactions between academia and industry grew, especially at the basic research level.
Figure 5.2 shows the sources of funding for academic basic research from 1993 to 1997. It makes