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Suggested Citation:"Global Trends." Institute of Medicine, National Academy of Sciences, and National Academy of Engineering. 1990. The Academic Research Enterprise within the Industrialized Nations: Comparative Perspectives. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/1596.
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GLOBAL TRENDS Symposium participants identified several major trends affecting the purposes, organization, and funding of scientific and technological research within all nations. These include: Shifting Economic Power. The post-World War Two balance of economic power is changing, with increasing competition among nations for the global marketplace. National industrial strategies promote the commercial development and marketing of research-intensive products. The growing economic strength of the European Community and Pacific Rim nations facilitates greater rates of growth in their civilian research programs compared to the United States. Increasing Commercial Value of Basic Research. As product life cycles become shorter, advances in fundamental knowledge are increasingly relevant to commercial technology development. Nations are seeking to capture the economic benefits of basic research through stronger linkages between their basic and applied research activities. As a result, basic research priorities in many fields are increasingly tied to priorities in technology development. In those nations where academic research plays a central role within the national research system, universities are under pressure to develop stronger linkages with industry. Continuing Military Security Concerns. Advances in fundamental knowledge are also important to development of military technology. Continuing international political tensions cause national governments to restrict the international transfer of new knowledge and technology to potential adversaries. ImprovingInformation Technologies. As new information technologies facilitate more rapid sharing of scientific data and analyses across national boundaries, important advances in fundamental science in one country are nearly instantaneously reported to scientists around the world. The quality of each nation's research capacity depends on the ability of its scientists to participate and cooperate in this worldwide information network. Emerging Global Research Agendas. International cooperation is increasingly required for research into such areas as world climate change, ozone depletion, and acid rain. The scientific communities within both industrialized and developing countries are establishing cooperative research ventures to address these problems which require participation of scientists from multiple scientific fields. Escalating Research Costs. Research programs in several fields are becoming prohibitively expensive for single nations to sponsor. The growing research capabilities and economic strength of many nations now provide new opportunities for research collaboration in those areas-such as astronomy, oceanography, high-energy physics, and space science-which require large capital investments. 4

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