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111 i' ~ Federal Funds for Science and Terhnolo~ Committee on Criteria for Federal Support of Research and Development NATIONAL ACADEMY OF SCIENCES NATIONAL ACADEMY OF ENGINEERING INSTITUTE OF MEDICINE NATIONAL RESEARCH COUNCIL NATIONAl ACADEMY PRESS Washington, D.C. 1995
NOTICE: The project that is the subject of this report was approved by the Governing Board of the National Research Council, whose members are drawn from the councils of the National Academy of Sciences, the National Academy of Engineering, and the Institute of Medicine. The members of the committee responsible for the report were chosen for their special competences and with regard for appropriate balance. This report has been reviewed by a group other than the authors according to procedures approved by a Report Review Committee consisting of members of the National Academy of Sciences, the National Academy of Engineering, and the Institute of Medicine. The National Academy of Sciences is a private, nonprofit, self-perpetuating society of distin- guished scholars engaged in scientific and engineering research, dedicated to the furtherance of science and technology and to their use for the general welfare. Upon the authority of the charter granted to it by the Congress in 1863, the Academy has a mandate that requires it to advise the federal government on scientific and technical matters. Dr. Bruce Alberts is president of the National Academy of Sciences. The National Academy of Engineering was established in 1964, under the charter of the National Academy of Sciences, as a parallel organization of outstanding engineers. It is autonomous in its adminis- tration and in the selection of its members, sharing with the National Academy of Sciences the responsibil- ity for advising the federal government. The National Academy of Engineering also sponsors engineering programs aimed at meeting national needs, encourages education and research, and recognizes the superior achievements of engineers. Dr. Harold Liebowitz is president of the National Academy of ~ . . ngmeerlng. The Institute of Medicine was established in 1970 by the NationalAcademy of Sciences to secure the services of eminent members of appropriate professions in the examination of policy matters pertaining to the health of the public. The Institute acts under the responsibility given to the National Academy of Sciences by its congressional charter to be an adviser to the federal government and, upon its own initiative, to identify issues of medical care, research, and education. Dr. Kenneth I. Shine is presi- dent of the Institute of Medicine. The National Research Council was established by the NationalAcademy of Sciences in 1916 to associate the broad community of science and technology with the Academy's purposes of furthering knowledge and advising the federal government. Functioning in accordance with general policies determined by the Academy, the Council has become the principal operating agency of both the National Academy of Sciences and the NationalAcademy of Engineering in providing services to the government, the public, and the scientific and engineering communities. The Council is administered jointly by both Academies and the Institute of Medicine. Dr. Bruce Alberts and Dr. Harold Liebowitz are chairman and vice chairman, respectively, of the National Research Council. Support for this project was provided by the Department of Defense (under Contract No. N00014-95-C-0314), the National Institutes of Health (under Contract No. N01-OD-4-2139,Task Order #4), the National Science Foundation (under Grant No. OPS-9528889), and the Basic Science Fund of the National Academy of Sciences. Any opinions, findings, and conclusions or recommendations expressed in this material are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the views of the National Science Foundation. Library of Congress Catalog Card Number 95-71602 International Standard Book Number 0-309-05347-1 Additional copies of this report are available from: National Academy Press 2101 Constitution Avenue,NW Box 285 Washington, DC 20055 800-624-6242 202-334-3313 (in the Washington Metropolitan Area) B-680 Copyright 1995 by the NationalAcademy of Sciences. All rights reserved. Printed in the United States of America
Committee on Criteria for Federal Support of Research and Development FRANK PRESS, Carnegie Institution of Washington, Chair LEW ALLEN, JR., Charles Stark Draper Laboratory, Inc. DAVID H. AUSTON, Rice University FOREST BASKETT, Silicon Graphics Computer Systems BARRY R. BLOOM,Albert Einstein College of Medicine DANIEL I. EVANS, Daniel I. Evans & Associates BARUCH FISCHHOFF, Carnegie Mellon University MARYE ANNE FOX, University of Texas at Austin SHIRLEY A. JACKSON, U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commissioni ROBERT I. LEVY,Wyeth-Ayerst Research2 RICHARD.J. MAHONEY, Monsanto Company (retired) STEVEN L. McKNTGHT,Tularik, Inc. MARCIA K. McNUTT, Massachusetts Institute of Technology PAUL M. ROMER, University of California at Berkeley LUIS SEQUETRA, University of Wisconsin HAROLD T. SHAPIRO, Princeton University H. GUYFORD STEVER,Trustee and Science Acivisor JOHN P.WHITE, Department of Defenses National Research Council Staff and Consultants Norman Metzger, Stucly Director Robert M. Cook-Deegan, Senior Program Officer Christopher T. HiD, George Mason University Michael G.H. McGeary, Consultant Julie M. Esanu, Research Assistant Danielle Dehmier, Project Assistant Resigned on July 12, 1995, to become chair of the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission. 2Resigned on March 22, 1995, due to schedule conflicts. 3Resigned on June 22, 1995, to become deputy secretary of defense. iii
Preface In a report accompanying funding for the National Institutes of Health for FiscalYear 1995, the Senate Appropriations Committee requested a study from the National Acaclemy of Sciences, the National Acaclemy of Engineering, and the Insti- tute of Medicine. The stucly was to address "the criteria that shouIct be used in judging the appropriate allocation of funds to research anal development activities, the appropriate balance among different types of institutions that conduct such research, and the means of assuring continuer! objectivity in the allocation process." The stucly originated from the Appropriations Committee's concern "that at a time when there is much opportunity to un~lerstancl and cure disease, funding for health research supported by NTH in the next fiscal year is held to below the inflation rate for medical research clue to budget constraints. Similarly, other Fecleral research agencies are confronted with constrained resources resulting from the virtual freeze in discretionary outlays." The charge was daunting when it was requested by the appropriations Com- mittee and is even more so now. With a year's passage, the concern with a"virtual freeze in discretionary outlays" seems an understatement. The efforts by both the Administration ant! the Congress to recluce the federal deficit have promptest pro- posals to cut programs, consolidate or abolish agencies, and even do away with whole departments. The federal research ant! clevelopment enterprise has not been exempt from examination, nor should it be. Since the end of World War IT, this enterprise has become vast and complex, and it accounts for a significant part of the discretionary outlays of the fecleral government. It is thus important that the nature and structure of federal support for research and cievelopment, as well as the ben- efits it brings, be understood! to assure that as budgets are reduced, the strengths of U.S. science and technology are maintained, while the anachronistic or weak as- pects are pruned. The Committee on Criteria for Fecleral Support of Research and Development approached its task with realism about the budget pressures, an eagerness to pro- vide advice that couIct guide both the Executive Branch and Congress, and a con- cern for fairness in evaluating the many parts of the enterprise. The committee's membership reflected these aims, including inctivicluals who perform federally funneled research, who use the results in industry and other sectors, who have been involved in shaping federal research and ctevelopment programs in the past, and who are students of the research and clevelopment enterprise. The committee's realism about budget pressures was matched by its realism about the report's immediate impact on current budgets. It is the committee's hope that this report will serve well both the executive and legislative branches as they grapple with the very hard decisions that will have to be made over many buciget cycles, in a politically and fiscally difficult environment. The theme of the committee's report is continuance in the face of change. Continuance builds on the spectacularly successful results of postwar fecleral invest v
Vi / PREFACE meets in research and development. By any measure, these investments have been recouped many times over in contributing to a strong and globally competitive U.S. economy, hastening the end of the Cold War, providing continuing national security against new enemies, advancing the fight against disease, improving our environ- ment, and producing revelations about ourselves, our world, and our cosmos. Charge comes in acknowledging that the federal research and development enter- prise must adapt to a new world. The Cold War is over. Global competition is both economic and military, involving many more nations than did the past bipolar confrontation of nuclear superpowers. These problems create opportunities. ]:n- deed, science and technology will be even more important in the future than they are today. Change is also reflected in the very doing of science, as computers and high-speed communication networks expand access to databases and facilities throughout the world and enable daily collaboration among scientists and engineers separated by great distances. Over time, institutions and programs have been created that no longer serve us well. Even good programs and institutions must give way to successors that are better and are more closely linked to new national needs. These are painfi~1 mes- sages. Some of the committee's members have built their professional lives through programs and institutions that may not survive application of the principles the committee proposes for judging future expenditures. At the same time, the commit- tee believes strongly that failure to make these choices will prove costly, serving neither the nation nor the scientific community. That said, the committee appreci- ates that its principles for judging programs and institutions are, by necessity, gen- eral and must be given more specificity when applied to particular programs and institutions. As a practical matter, the committee did not offer specific details for implementing the judgments that must be made. The commirre~ h`'li~v`~c char thick who must make the decisions and execute them should be given the latitude to apply these principles sensibly. The report is short, and deliberately so. Part ~ offers the committee's recom- mendations, with sufficient elaboration to enable readers to understand them. The four supplements included in Part 11 give details underlying the recommendations. These supplements are not mere appendixes, but provide background critical to understanding this brief report. For example, Supplement 2 shows how the com- mittee derived a new budget index it calls federal science and technology (FS&~. The committee believes that these federal funds best define the public investment in the science and technology base that is essential for maintaining U.S. health, pros- perity, and security. In addition to the facts and analyses provided in the supplements, the commit- tee relied on other means for arriving at its judgments, including more than 35 letters received from individuals in leadership positions in industry, academia, and scientific societies; a number of outreach meetings held around the country; several commissioned papers; communications through an Internet home page; briefings by senior government officials whose agencies are collectively responsible for most of the federal research and development budget; and discussions with many indi- viduals in the Administration and Congress. The committee is grateful to an who took the time to provide assistance and in doing so not only tutored us, but also showed their concern for the future of the U.S. research and development enter ~In__ V_ v ~sA ~w
PREFACE / Vii prise. The individuals who assisted the committee and the background papers prepared for it are acknowledged in Appendixes C and D, respectively. Some wiR think it politically unwise that we recommend a process and guiclelines for identifying activities that can be reduces' or eliminated and for reallocating the savings to ones more essential to preserving US. leadership in science and technology. We have been told that our advice will be only partially followed that the cuts wiN be maple but that the savings wiN not be reallocates! to federal science and technology. Perhaps. But we see no alternative. We can only hope that the case we have made is convincing, and trust that our recommen- dations to maintain U.S. strength in science and technology will be accepted. The committee believes that the political wisdom that created the remarkably successful U.S. research and development enterprise will endure, driven by the U.S. public's strong and abiding support for federal science and technology. This report results from the work of many people. ~ especially thank the committee itself. it had what some believed a near-impossible task. Whether it succeeded is for others to judge. T shall always be grateful to these extraordinarily accomplished and able people for the care, intelligence, and above all the time they gave to wise and experienced judgments about a federal role that is so vital to the nation's future. Finally, ~ know T speak for all the committee members in acknowl- edging our indebtedness to the staff consummate professionals who know as much about science policy issues as any in Washington, and without whose partici- pation the report would be much diminished. Frank Press Chair Committee on Criteria for Federal Support of Research and Development
Contents Part ~ Improving the AHocation Process for Federal Science and Technology Determining Principles for allocating Federal Funds Conclusions, Recommendations, and Discussion Looking to the Future Encinotes Part Supplements: Background and Rationale 1 The Evolution and impact of Fecleral Government Support for R&D in Broad Outline 2 Federal Funds for R&D and FS&T 3 Current Processes for allocating Fecleral R&D Functs 4 interactions Between Fecleral anct Industrial Funding and the Relationship Between Basic ancIApplied Research Encinotes Appendixes E A Senate Report Language for the Prospective Stucly B Committee and Staff Biographical information Acknowledgments D List of Commissioned Backgrounct Papers Acronyms Nix 8 30 32 41 51 62 70 82 87 88 93 95 96