“A strategic approach to internationalization and international cooperation should increase coherence, define actions big enough to make a difference and have clear impacts…”1
This chapter includes objectives and attributes of other approaches for global S&T engagement used by governments, academia, and industry, as well as descriptions of those organizations’ motivators for international engagement. It also explores the implications, both the challenges and opportunities, for the Department of Defense (DoD) to either adopt or leverage these approaches.
Global science and technology (S&T) engagement by U.S. federal agencies yields the greatest returns in instances of shared missions and comparable capabilities, facilitated by trusted channels of communication and information exchange. It has been demonstrated repeatedly over the years that cooperation can exist, and information can be shared at appropriate levels, while retaining, and advancing, uniquely national interests. There are numerous examples of the benefits of international cooperation for U.S. government departments and agencies.
For example, for the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA), foreign access and engagement yields valuable information to advance research on agricultural productivity, consumer protection, and wider access to foreign markets. For the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), and the Department of the Interior (DOI), international and trans-border science programs can bring fresh approaches to
1“International Cooperation in Science, Tecchnology and Innovation: Strategies for a Changing World.” Report of the Expert Group established to support the further development of an EU international STI cooperation strategy. ISBN 978-92-79-26411-5. Copyright European Union 2012, p. 10.
critical domestic services and help to achieve common understanding and global commitments to sustainable stewardship of the earth and its resources.
For the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), international science collaboration helps the United States confront diseases where they occur and supports the standards and regulations that ensure the safety, quality, and efficacy of products (produced domestically or abroad) that protect human health and quality of life. For the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST), exchanges of scientific information and expertise enhance U.S. technological competitiveness and national security. For the Department of Homeland Security (DHS), international S&T coordination can serve enable and promote global antiterrorism efforts. For the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA), there can be no agenda for research and exploration that does not include the collaborative participation of countries throughout the world.
There is also a significant (and growing) dimension of U.S. engagement in international S&T that is directed toward responding to the vast needs of the developing world. Through the relevant U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) bureaus, the USAID Office of the Science Advisor, the USAID missions throughout the world, and a network of additional supporting federal agencies and non-governmental organizations, science-based programs are helping developing nations achieve self-sufficiency and improved quality of life for their populations. For other countries, international S&T engagement and cooperation can be a means for several ends, for example, to improve economic and security relationships between countries, to build capacity in countries that are S&T underperformers, to address transnational and global challenges that require international collaboration, and to access the best S&T and S&Es anywhere around the world.
3.1.1 Drivers for International S&T Engagement and Awareness
Agencies and departments throughout the U.S. government recognize that international engagement in S&T will be key to the nation’s ability to compete economically, defend national security interests, and tackle some of the most vexing global challenges for populations everywhere. Science diplomacy, specifically the organized efforts of the federal government to engage in scientific and technological collaboration with foreign counterparts, is a vital component of America’s foreign policy agenda.
While the United States continues to lead in research productivity, there is a marked increase in publications, patents, leading-edge discoveries, and professional and academic exchanges among other countries, including in the developing world. Access to, and engagement with, these foreign assets is essential for the U.S. to remain a player in all critical domains and to avoid technological surprise. The principal objectives for international scientific engagement generally fall into three broad categories:
- To accelerate the pace and the delivery of research and development (R&D) for U.S. interests (civilian and military), avoiding duplication of effort and meeting the considerable costs of large-scale research through the leveraging of international resources;
- To achieve common understanding and application of science-based standards and policies between our countries and collectively in response to wide-ranging global imperatives; and
- To establish the connections, knowledge, and trust that can heighten the prospects for commercial access and the exchange of products and services between the United States and foreign markets.
Within the international research community, there is a wide recognition that the United States S&T enterprise, which includes universities, industries, and government laboratories, continues to maintain strong technological stature in many research fields and scientific disciplines. This, combined with its reputation for scientific integrity, reliable government funding support, and high quality of life, make the United States a very attractive partner for S&T collaboration. Collaboration with the United States provides foreign researchers access to one of the world’s largest S&E talent pools; allows for cost sharing and leveraging of resources, infrastructure, and knowledge; and builds connectivity between researchers.
3.1.2 International S&T Engagement and Awareness Approaches
In more than 20 federal agencies (including nearly every cabinet-level department), numerous offices and divisions are assigned the responsibilities to oversee programs of international research and information exchange. In addition, the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy (OSTP), in coordination with the U.S. Department of State, works to enhance international S&T cooperation through joint commission meetings, dialogues, and programs, such as the Science Envoy Program. These federal programs underscore the importance of robust channels of communication, exchange, and collaboration between U.S. government organizations and their foreign counterparts.
While the U.S. requirements for information and access to foreign science and technology are varied, the forms of international scientific engagement have much in common across agencies. They include, for example, joint research programs, professional and academic fellowships and exchanges, data and information exchanges, shared access to observation and data collection platforms, programs for management and enforcement of shared resources, collaborative participation in the programs of wide-ranging global science-based organizations, access to large international research centers and facilities and infrastructure projects, and international funding opportunities.
U.S. government researchers recognize the importance of monitoring their peers on a global scale to maintain awareness of leading international trends within their respective technical fields. International science collaborations in-
volving federal agencies incorporate the principles embraced by scientists for centuries concerning freedom and equity of access to research, with particular attention to serving U.S. national interests and protecting intellectual property. Products of these collaborations often include technical reports, proceedings, and related materials that can be uniquely valuable, as they are designed for specific audiences, often aimed at linking research to applications, and usually available without the delays associated with literature peer reviews.
The United States is currently a signatory to many formal government-to-government agreements in science and technology with countries all over the world. To a large extent, the very decisions of federal agencies to enter into these collaborative science agreements result from securing relevant information concerning comparative foreign assets and the merits of potential partnering opportunities. Conferences, workshops, and literature surveys provide useful insights, but they cannot substitute for S&E exchanges and joint research.
Among federal agencies, the most effective (and most comprehensive) approaches to international S&T collaboration involve routinely updating the protocols that define agency participation in these formal agreements, consistent with changing national research priorities, while maintaining regular, ongoing programs of researcher and student exchange and information sharing. Numerous countries maintain similar S&T government-to-government agreements and memoranda of understanding.2 The effectiveness of such agreements is dependent on the ability and willingness of agencies to implement the agreements and make sure they are doing meaningful activities. There is a wide array of potential international networks ripe for leveraging by U.S. government agencies seeking international engagement.
Federal agencies (civilian and military) also deploy experts to positions abroad in locations strategic to agency missions, and often with regional responsibilities. For example, the Department of State’s Bureau of Oceans and International Environmental and Scientific Affairs (OES) has forward-deployed Environment, Science, Technology, and Health (ESTH) offices3 in embassies around
2For example, Canada has S&T agreements with China, India, Japan, France, Germany, Russia, Sweden, the United Kingdom, the United States, Brazil, Chile, and Israel (http://www.tradecommissioner.gc.ca/eng/science/agreements.jsp; last accessed on March 31, 2014); Israel has S&T agreements with many countries, including Germany, China, Japan, France, Canada, the United Kingdom, Russia, and the United States (http://most.gov.il/english/international/Pages/default.aspx; last accessed on March 31, 2014); and Australia has S&T agreements with the European Union, France, Germany, Italy, Switzerland, the United Kingdom, China, India, the United States, Canada, Brazil, Japan, Korea, Singapore, Taiwan, New Zealand, and South Africa (http://www.innovation.gov.au/science/internationalcollaboration/Pages/default.aspx; last accessed on March 31, 2014).
3The ESTH mission is to engage U.S. allies on OES issues (e.g., oceans and fisheries, conservation), to represent U.S. positions in multilateral fora (e.g., U.S. Mission to the European Union), to work closely with other U.S. government agencies and support their efforts by raising key issues at the diplomatic level, and to cooperate with nongovern-
the world, and the National Science Foundation (NSF) maintains overseas offices in Paris, Beijing, and Tokyo.4 Reporting and support for agency international programs are among the functions of these positions. Information is shared among these experts in the course of their duties abroad (including between civilian and DoD experts at overseas locations), but this information sharing is often aimed at cultivating contacts more than analyzing foreign S&T enterprise. Genuine mission coordination is, therefore, less frequent across agencies.
The United States is also deeply engaged in fostering the next generation of science and technology leaders through programs such as the Department of State’s International Fulbright Science & Technology Award, which has brought more than 200 exceptional students from 73 different countries to the United States to pursue graduate studies in only the last five years. The Department of State also oversees the Jefferson Science Fellows program, in which fellows serve as science and technology advisors on foreign policy issues.
3.1.3 Opportunities and Challenges for the DoD
Many federal agencies have mandates that permit the sharing of scientific information at levels ranging from the most basic research to scientific applications that may simultaneously meet national objectives and serve the common good. The most effective global collaborations are those in which the research priorities are well defined and shared, and include a clear understanding about the breadth and limitations of cooperation.
The DoD has limits on the extent to which some specific information may be shared, but the study committee observes that the basic R&D underpinning many of the 17 technical areas set forth in the Reliance 21 framework is not military specific. Thus, DoD can continue to engage globally in many of the forums employed successfully by other federal agencies. DoD can also benefit greatly from professional and academic fellowships and exchanges that broaden the scope of basic research and add varied perspectives to the core science undertaken in the federal laboratories. Federal agencies assign high trust to their scientists to engage globally while continuing to secure national interests. These scientists are also entrusted to distinguish between research opportunities that advance U.S. objectives and those that lack merit or relevance to U.S. priorities.
mental organizations to raise awareness of ESTH issues and to strengthen diplomatic relations. OES also maintains 12 regional environmental hubs at embassies around the world to address transboundary environment through regional cooperation. Regional hub officers seek to promote environmental cooperation, sharing of environmental data, and adoption of sound policies that will benefit all countries in that area.
4The International Science and Engineering (ISE) section of NSF is responsible for international collaborative activities across NSF and co-funds awards and supplements in cooperation with NSF’s disciplinary directorates. The mission of the ISE overseas offices is to promote international collaboration, serve as a liaison between NSF and its overseas counterparts, and report on developments in the international science and engineering community.
Federal researchers cannot be expected to deliver on these goals absent the chances to explore the global research landscape through access to conferences, workshops, and other traditional forms of information exchange.
DoD researchers are no exception in this regard, whether in terms of the importance of conferring trust or the need for current access to global science. Global engagement brings with it scientific credibility that is, in turn, critical to attracting scientific information that can ultimately serve the U.S. interest. The opportunities are admittedly fewer for DoD researchers to engage in joint research programs or even to share access to observation and data collection platforms. The costs and complexities of large-scale programs, especially those that require prohibitively high infrastructure investments, provide valuable opportunities for international collaborations; once approved, every effort should be made to facilitate collaborative research and not to encumber researchers with excessive and restrictive policies and procedures.
DoD representatives in strategic locations abroad still play valuable roles in identifying and directing U.S. researchers toward significant foreign assets. With an increasing blend of objectives and capabilities between the civilian and military sectors, coordination of information collection is all the more essential. The ongoing growth and access to open-source science information will require a sharpened focus on what appropriate methodology and reporting requirements should be used by federal agencies. Today, the most valuable information is often that which characterizes the context or the institutional framework in which research and technological advancements are occurring abroad; this adds an important dimension to material readily identifiable in the public domain.
Considerably less effort has been devoted to comparative analysis of international missions or coordinated analysis of collected information. There is an ever-growing need for an organized effort across the federal government to share mission objectives and to identify areas of overlap, synergistic support, and gaps. Opportunities to share and support missions need to be incorporated into practice, including coordination of follow-up analyses.
The increase in connections among different nations and societies that the world has witnessed in recent years, fostered in part by rapid advancements in communication technologies during the late 20th century and by the widespread dispersion of economic growth across the globe, has had a profound impact on social, economic, and intellectual exchange. Both developed and developing nations share a growing sense of common global challenges that can be met only through mutual effort and cooperation. As institutions dedicated to education, knowledge advancement and service to society, universities are uniquely positioned to help shape the ways in which these international connections will continue to develop.
Universities are very conscious of the ongoing leveling in science and technology performance throughout the world. Although absolute metrics for
research outcomes, publication citations, and prestigious world prizes in science, engineering, and mathematics remain high for U.S. academic researchers, these metrics in relative terms show steady declines due to increasing investments in higher education and research among all nations of the world. Economists have argued that investments in basic R&D provide powerful engines for economic growth. For this reason, universities around the world, for example those in the BRIC (Brazil, Russia, India, and China) countries, aspire to be ranked among the top one hundred world universities in order to attract top research faculty and students; indications are that they are succeeding (see Figure 1-3c).
3.2.1 Drivers for Global S&T Engagement and Awareness
Research activities at most U.S. research universities are becoming more global for a number of reasons: (a) the faculties include a high percentage of foreign-born researchers, (b) universities receive funding support from foreign-owned businesses that are well established in the United States, (c) universities have substantial numbers of successful alumni in many countries, (d) researchers seek collaborations with top researchers abroad (many among their alumni) in order to track important advances at the frontiers of science and engineering, and (e) universities have an obligation to prepare their students to live and work in a world that is becoming more internationally connected. As a result, every major research university in the United States. has developed some level of strategy for how it will engage with foreign researchers and partner institutions and how it will contribute to intellectually challenging problems worldwide.
Many U.S. universities have a substantial history of international activities related to research and education, and the expanding global connections of the 21st century provide increasing opportunities to engage in projects and collaborations outside of the United States. These opportunities are reflected in part by growing demands in two directions. First, faculty and students have research and educational interests that often naturally lead to international activities and experiences, especially as communication across national boundaries expands, and research and teaching interests overseas increasingly advance to intellectual frontiers and complement the interests of the university. Second, many U.S. universities are widely viewed as high-value partners by foreign governments, corporations, and non-U.S. universities, which increasingly seek to initiate collaborations and share or access resources with the U.S. universities.
Many of the most challenging contemporary problems facing researchers and educators transcend national boundaries (e.g., energy and environment issues). Often the best solutions to these problems are being developed overseas, thus providing universities increasing opportunities for constructive, global engagement in a range of precompetitive research areas. In addition, it is well understood that competition among peer universities will take place increasingly within a global framework and thus a multifaceted approach for global engagement is essential for the proper positioning of the academic institution.
3.2.2 International S&T Engagement and Awareness Approaches
The most successful global engagement by universities strengthens the core mission of education and research of the university. A university’s international engagement approaches should satisfy the following outcomes: (Education) to provide its students and faculty with high-quality opportunities to learn about and engage with the world; (Research) to provide its students and faculty with unique and enhanced research opportunities worldwide; (Service) to undertake international service activities that build upon and leverage its strengths and leadership while providing new research and educational opportunities for its faculty, students, and staff; and (Campus Community) to maximize the quality of its educational, research, and service programs by attracting the best faculty and students from around the world.
According to a recent publication from the American Council on Education (ACE), global engagement can arise from bottom-up or top-down strategies and occur at the individual, institutional, or governmental level.5 At the individual level, many researchers at U.S. universities have small, thematic research-oriented international engagements and collaborations. These collaborations are entrepreneurial in nature, initiated and managed by individual faculty members, and driven by common research interests, alumni networks (e.g., collaborations with former students and postdocs), and a desire to access facilities and infrastructure located abroad. Researcher-to-researcher networks are established through in-person interactions at scientific conferences and professional meetings, visiting faculty seminars, and student and faculty exchanges.
At the institutional level, most U.S. universities are engaged in an ecosystem of educational arrangements (e.g., through memoranda of understanding and joint and dual degree programs) for their students, particularly undergraduate students, to study abroad. In addition, numerous universities around the world have international branch campuses6 (according to one study,7 there were 200 international branch campuses around the world by the end of 2011 with more than three dozen scheduled to open within two years). Many research universi-
5Challenges and Opportunities for the Global Engagement of Higher Education . P.P. McGill and R.M. Helms. (originally presented at the Beijing Forum conference on November 1, 2013). The American Council on Education, Center for Internationalization and Global Engagement. Retrieved March 31, 2014, from http://www.acenet.edu/newsroom/Documents/CIGE-Insights-2014-Challenges-Opps-Global-Engagement.pdf.
6Examples of U.S. research universities with international branch campuses include New York University in China and United Arab Emirates; Syracuse University in Italy, Spain, Chile, England, and China; George Mason University in South Korea; and Carnegie Mellon University in Australia. A more in-depth listing of international branch campuses is provided in Appendix E.
7International branch campuses: data and developments. W. Lawton and A. Katsomitros. 2012. The Observatory on Borderless Higher Education. Abstract retrieved March 31, 2014 from http://www.obhe.ac.uk/documents/view_details?id=894.
ties also maintain centers overseas,8 co-brand or operate collaboratively with overseas institutions,9 or manage foreign international universities in order to expand the global reach for their faculty and students.
Government policies and programs can also be used to support university global engagement practices—for example, the Erasmus programme encourages cooperation between higher education institutions and supports cross-border student mobility in Europe. Launched by the European Commission in 1986, Erasmus has enabled more than 2.2 million students and 250,000 university staff to be mobile within Europe (approximately 90% of higher education institutions in 33 European countries take part in the program).10
Bilateral S&T agreements, memoranda of understanding, and cooperation programs between institutions and/or governments are also used to facilitate international engagement by and among academic institutions. One example at the governmental level is the U.S. NSF Partnerships for International Research and Education (PIRE), which supports projects that require international collaboration (in 2012, the PIRE program supported 12 projects with participation by 28 total countries11). Another example is the Innovation China–UK (ICUK) program, established through joint funding from the Higher Education Funding Council for England, Department for Innovation, Universities & Skills (now Department for Business, Innovation & Skills) and the Chinese Ministry of Science and Technology to promote joint innovation and knowledge transfer. Since its launch in 2007, the ICUK has funded 72 collaborative technology projects and engaged more than 270 academics from China and the United Kingdom.12
Universities can also be tasked to execute bilateral governmental research S&T cooperation programs. For example, the Swiss Confederation has bilateral research cooperation programs with India, Brazil, Chile, Russia, South Africa, China, South Korea, Japan, and Vietnam; Ecole Polytechnique Federale de Lausanne (EPFL) has responsibility for promoting and strengthening collaboration
8For example, Columbia University’s Global Centers in Kenya, China, France, Turkey, Brazil, Chile, Jordan, and India.
9For example, Yale University–National University of Singapore College; Skolkovo Institute of Science and Technology established in collaboration with Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Duke Kushnan University established in partnership between Duke University and Wuhan University, and a joint institute between the University of Michigan and Shanghai Jiao Tong University.
10Available at http://www.aef-europe.be/documents/Improving_the_participation_in_the_erasmus_programme.pdf. Last accessed on March 31, 2014.
11Argentina, Australia, Bangladesh, Belgium, Belize, Brazil, Cameroon, China, Czech Republic, Denmark, France, Gabon, Germany, India, Indonesia, Ireland, Italy, Japan, Mexico, Netherlands, Russia, Singapore, Spain, Switzerland, Turkey, the United Kingdom, and the United States. http://www.nsf.gov/od/iia/ise/pire-2012-list.jsp. Last accessed on March 31, 2014.
with four of these partner countries (ETH Zurich, the University of Geneva, and the University of Basel manage the other five partner countries).
In addition to bilateral cooperation, many universities also participate in multilateral and global research collaboratives and worldwide research projects. For example, the King Abdullah University of Science and Technology (KAUST) Global Collaborative Research (GCR) creates and supports an international community of academic researchers to collaboratively solve global technological problems. Other examples of large global research collaboratives and consortia include the following:
- The European Organization for Nuclear Research (CERN) is a fundamental physics research organization with 21 member states. More than 600 institutes and universities around the world use CERN facilities with approximately 10,000 visiting scientists from 113 countries.13
- The European Molecular Biology Laboratory (EMBL) is a public molecular biology research organization funded by 20 member states. EMBL has five sites across Europe; research is conducted by 85 independent groups across 60 nations.
- The Integrated Ocean Drilling Program (IODP) is an international marine research program that brings together researchers from universities and institutes around the world; the United States and Japan are formal lead agencies, and there are 17 contributing country members and 3 associate country members.
- The Square Kilometre Array (SKA) Project is a global collaboration to build a radio telescope with a collecting area of one million square meters. The SKA organization has 10 country members and 1 associate country member, with 100 organizations across 20 countries participating in the design and development of the SKA.
- The International Geosphere–Biosphere Programme (IGBP) coordinates international research on global- and regional-scale interactions between Earth’s biological, chemical and physical processes and their interactions with human systems through a coordinated network of more than 50 national and scientific committees and international project offices.
Industry can also play a role in supporting international engagement and collaboration efforts for universities (between universities and between industries and universities). For example, the Intel Science and Technology Centers (ISTCs) and Intel International Collaborative Research Institute (ICRI) fund jointly led research collaborations between Intel and the international academic community.
As another means of maintaining awareness of global advances in S&T, some university researchers are developing methods to retrieve, synthesize, and identify relevant patterns from open, worldwide data sources. Such research employs the Internet for sharing data, publications, and courseware and conducting cooperative experiments and simulations on globally connected user networks (e.g., the HubZero14 tool developed at Purdue University).
For each of those engagement activities and approaches, it is also important to identify factors that can contribute to less successful outcomes. For example, not paying enough attention to political and social sensitivities abroad, not having enough faculty engagement from the home university, and not paying enough attention to being economically and intellectually sustainable illustrate some considerations that should be taken into account when developing any approach for international engagement.
While a universal best strategy for global university engagement has not yet emerged, it is clear that increasing mobility of the global S&E workforce, as well as increasing public and private research investments made around the world, are motivating universities to take a strategic approach to international engagement and collaboration to remain among the world’s best institutions—and likely will continue to do so.
3.2.3 Opportunities and Challenges for the DoD
These dynamic movements in U.S. universities, spurred in large part by growing international competition, represent opportunities for defense agencies to achieve more timely access to advances in science and technology throughout the world. This will generally require strategies to strengthen the coupling of government researchers with leading academic researchers and to improve access to their top students for employment (one best practice for technology transfer). Strengthened defense-academic coupling can provide broadened S&T inputs to improve defense roadmaps for staying at the cutting edge of materiel modernization and force readiness.
There are also opportunities for the DoD to adopt and leverage the international engagement activities and programs of academia. In addition to leveraging international networks that exist due to collaborative research, DoD could take advantage of open innovation approaches being developed by university researchers that seek to leverage the Internet, other open global data sources, and collective idea sharing. These efforts should be coordinated with the Defense Advanced Research Agency (DARPA), defense contractors, and other global enterprises, which are already engaged in these activities. These collective capabilities represent excellent opportunities for defense agencies to tap into early technological developments on a global scale.
The DoD could also identify opportunities to better synchronize technology transfer from universities, government laboratories, and the private sector to
close the gap between product development and commercial scale-up. This is especially important as the DoD relies increasingly on rapid adoption of technologies stemming from R&D investments made by others. Technology transfer will increasingly require a global perspective and closer partnerships among foreign industries, universities, and governments. As such, the DoD should consider engaging with overseas research institutes (e.g., Battelle Memorial Institute, Fraunhofer Society, and Industrial Technology Research Institute [ITRI]) that develop innovative products and services for clients on a global scale and have a successful track record of technology transfer. These types of research institutes have strong relationships with international universities, private companies, and government research laboratories (both civilian and defense) that can also be leveraged through collaboration.
There are also opportunities to establish partnerships with U.S. academic researchers who are internationally engaged in strategic, defense-related research and can advise on international SWOT (Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities, and Threats) issues; many of these researchers are already supported by the Service offices of research. The DoD should engage this community and provide opportunities for these researchers at universities to engage with the defense research community and, possibly, to provide briefs on relevant international research conferences they attend and on important technological developments abroad. This can stretch limited travel resources for government employees, as U.S. researchers are already attending such conferences. Developing such a relationship between academic researchers and defense researchers (and decision makers) will require the DoD to establish clear open-access, basic research boundaries and incentives for civilian researchers in the United States to engage with members of the defense research community.
The DoD could also consider designing “in-place” internships to engage top university students in basic research projects with downstream defense applications. These internships would allow undergraduate students to carry out unclassified projects on campus during the academic year as full members of defense laboratory teams and be sustained over the summer break by residence in a defense research center. The strategy would not only aid in the transfer of technology, but also promote recruitment. Ideally, these projects would be globally leveraged through international collaborations.
An evaluation of the wide range of technology collaboration models utilized by global industry and implications for the U.S. DoD would be incomplete without first establishing the fact that the mission, motivations, and objectives of the DoD and industry are markedly different. The analysis presented below will identify areas in which the two groups align and diverge. Where divergence is present, an attempt to draw parallels between the objectives of the groups will be offered.
3.3.1 Drivers for Global S&T Investment by Industry
Areas of technology addressed by industry in a global collaboration setting are influenced not only by the needs of industry but also by export-import regulations, tax laws, and the ability to effectively protect and control intellectual property. Considering the defense-oriented mission of the DoD, a relatively narrow set of collaboration topics and partners are available in comparison to industry.
Global S&T investment by industry takes many forms, but three key drivers are typically involved: (1) a desire to access the best technology and technologists in the world, (2) reduce technology investment costs by coinvesting with others, and (3) using technology investment to strengthen the company’s presence and products in key markets.
Technology sourcing – The ability to reach out globally to access the best and brightest has been greatly facilitated through global connectivity advances that allow sharing of massive amounts of information and inexpensive connection by computer, phone, and video over great distances. The barrier to entry for basic tools of innovation (a computer connected to the Internet) have been lowered to the point that it is no longer the more advanced economies of the world that are producing innovative ideas. Brilliant people can show up anywhere on the planet and the chance of them gaining access to a computer to educate themselves and connect to the rest of the world is growing daily. With these trends in mind, it makes sense that industry is increasingly looking outward to find the best technologies and technologists.15
Reducing R&D costs – The pace of technology advances continues to accelerate and the cost for a company to independently invest enough resources in technology to maintain a competitive advantage can be prohibitive. Meanwhile, customers have grown accustomed to purchasing more capable products at lower prices and have a built-in expectation of more for less. Even through the recent challenging economic times, global technology investment has remained strong with $1.6 trillion in technology invested in 2013.16 With this level of technology investment, surely other organizations are trying to solve similar problems. Progressive companies have dedicated teams working to understand who in the world is working on technologies of interest to their companies and then reaching out to them to strike a business arrangement to co-invest and share the results. At times this can take the form of an industry standards group where financial resources and know-how are pooled to drive creation of standards and perhaps new technol-
15Committee members visited several foreign-owned corporations (see Appendix A) and heard about a variety of strategy-directed mechanisms. This was in contrast to most university and government organizations visited which tended to rely more on researcher-to-researcher networks to maintain awareness of the “best” research and researchers.
ogies that will benefit all involved.17 Sometimes this type of collaboration will be within a supply chain—a supplier and customer co-investing to develop a new innovation that advantages both of them in the market for less overall investment. Finally, cross-sector collaboration is on the rise since it allows development and sharing of technology solutions between companies that do not compete. Whatever forms the co-investment takes, the objective is the same, develop the technology needed for business success at a lower cost.
Market access – The level of investment required to establish a technology presence in a country is relatively modest in comparison to the investment required to establish a business presence and/or production capabilities. As such, industry often leads with technology investment in various forms as a precursor to more significant investment. For some companies, servicing a market cannot be considered without local manufacturing operations, since the nature of the product may not lend itself to being shipped. Other industries may have products that ship easily but need to be tailored for the particular needs of a market. Finally, other industries may have products that remain relatively standard across the globe, but to be successful in selling that product in a particular market, having a local presence of some type helps. Market access requirements vary across industries, but often technology investment can facilitate successful market entry and growth. For products manufactured locally, there is a need to invest in improved manufacturing processes and methods to increase productivity. For products that need to be tailored for a market, investment in local business and technical talent is required in order to shape the product to be successful in that market. Finally, even if a product remains standard in most markets, technology investment by the company that is selling into a market can help satisfy formal or information investment expectations of the local government or business partners.
3.3.2 International S&T Engagement and Awareness Approaches
A range of technology collaboration models are utilized by industry depending upon the end objective and the need to control the contributed and resulting intellectual property. (1) Bilateral research allows for tighter control of intellectual property and highly focused outcomes, since only two parties are involved. (2) Collaborative networks bring medium to large groups of organizations together for mutual benefit, with the network acting as a starting point for project development that may take the form of a bilateral research agreement between two members or a collaboration agreement between a larger group of members. (3) Finally, the R&D consortium in its many forms typically is best suited for addressing common technical challenges in a particular technical area where it makes good business sense for members of that industry to combine
17Committee members heard from Ericsson in Sweden an example of a precompetitive collaborative project intended to drive subsequent standards development.
their resources to solve their common problems in a precompetitive setting. Each of these models has its benefits and limitations and is described in greater detail below.
Bilateral research – Searching the world for a collaboration partner that is willing to co-invest to solve a mutual problem can be a daunting task. Some companies are successful in identifying bi-lateral technology collaboration opportunities in their supply chain. These partnerships can yield results, but care must be taken to navigate at times difficult intellectual property issues, since the supplier in the relationship may want to utilize the codeveloped intellectual property with other customers. Similarly, the customer in the bi-lateral collaboration will want to control the sharing of the codeveloped intellectual property with their competitors. Since technology innovation and the competitive advantage it provides tends to fade over time, a potential solution to these conflicting objectives is to define some period of exclusivity for the customer use of the technology. This arrangement allows the customer in the partnership to justify their investment, since it may give them an advantage over their competition for some period of time. Likewise, the supplier in the relationship can justify their investment, since at some point they will be able to use the innovation to differentiate themselves in the market in comparison to their competition. While bilateral collaboration partners may be readily available in a company’s supply chain, these intellectual property challenges can sometimes limit the resulting benefits or make structuring of the relationship cumbersome.
Identifying viable bilateral collaboration partners in other industry sectors is a more difficult task; however, the elimination of competitive issues described above can accelerate the ability to quickly move to an agreement and get to work. Significant cross-sector collaboration has occurred between technology-heavy industries such as aerospace, automotive, and energy. Natural alignment of technology needs occur, since many of the same issues are present, for example, the common need between aerospace and automotive for higher-performance, lighter-weight materials for increased fuel efficiency. Likewise, energy and aerospace companies need materials that can perform and survive in extremely harsh environments. Finding these common needs is key to successfully structuring cross-sector bilateral technology collaboration relationships.
Collaborative networks – collaborative networks can facilitate cross-sector collaboration and also act as an avenue to extract emerging technologies from university and start-up companies. The members of the network are bound by a general nondisclosure agreement that the information shared inside the network remains in the network. This allows the sharing of technology needs by the members seeking technology and the sharing of proposed solutions by the technology providers in the network. When a match is identified, the collaboration that results typically takes place under a bilateral or multilateral agreement.
R&D consortium – The R&D consortium model has proven to be well suited to bridging the gap between lower technology readiness level (TRL)
R&D performed by universities and the higher TRL technologies required by industry to incorporate into their products.18,19 The model comes in many forms but they all have some common characteristics regarding their technical and financial approach, participants, and intellectual property model.
- Participants – With the focus on bridging the gap between university R&D and industry needs, the typical R&D consortium participants are members of industry, a host university and regional or national government agencies. Industry participation often starts with a small group of launch members that establish the technical focus and master research agreement with the university. The host university plays an important role as the central organizing body for the R&D consortium (e.g., collecting membership fees, performing R&D, growing industry membership and pursuing government grants). Supporting government agencies vary, but are typically biased towards the promotion of trade and industry versus pure scientific research.
- Technical approach – Industry needs drive the process of defining the technical approach. There is a natural tension between the mission of a university to perform and publish basic and basic and applied research and industry’s desire to invest in higher TRL-level technology work that will quickly transition to their products and services. In order to satisfy both objectives, research should address real-world industry problems, but the approach to solving these problems should be underpinned by solid theoretical work at the university.
- Financial approach – Financial contributions from all the participants is important to the successful launch, growth and sustainment of an R&D consortium. A tiered fee-based membership is utilized to allow larger companies to pay more per year and have stronger influence in the technical direction. Smaller companies can pay less and have less influence over the technical direction; however, many of the participating smaller companies are suppliers of the larger companies, so a major benefit to them is to better understand the technical needs of their customers and work in partnership to solve their problems. Government support of the R&D consortium usually comes in the form of matching grants against industry financial contributions. Often these grants are focused on establishing the required infrastructure to create an applied
18Technology and Innovation Centres. House of Commons Science and Technology Committee. Second Report of Session 2010–11. Volume I. HC 619. Published on February 17, 2011 by authority of the House of Commons. London: The Stationery Office Limited.
19“The current and future role of technology and innovation centers in the UK.” H. Hauser. A report commissioned by the UK Department for Business Innovation & Skills. Retrieved online April 4, 2014, from http://www.bis.gov.uk/assets/biscore/innovation/docs/10-843-role-of-technology-innovation-centres-hauser-review.
research operation (production quality facilities, equipment, and staff). Financial contributions by the host university are usually in the form of in-kind contributions, for example, contributing university facilities or accounting, financial, and legal services to support the R&D consortium. This pooled financial investment by industry, academia and government provides a highly attractive R&D environment, where, for a relatively modest annual contribution, an industry participant can realize many times their annual fees in R&D work performed.
- Intellectual property model – A two-tier intellectual property model is utilized. Annual fees from industry participants usually go into a general pool of R&D funds that creates a body of precompetitive intellectual property that is owned by the university and is licensed to the members of the consortium—royalty free for top-tier members with various approaches for lower-tier members. In order to transition technology to the products and services of the industry members, special projects can be defined that perform R&D that is closer to their products. Additional financial contributions are made to sponsor these special projects, and intellectual property terms are established to protect the competitive position of the sponsoring industry member.
Success for industry and DoD are defined differently, but for international technology investment there are enablers of success that are common to both organizations including the following:
Driving a culture that values external ideas and capabilities – A first step in facilitating the successful growth of international technology investment for an organization is to accept that no single organization can possess all the world’s best capabilities. This is difficult for many organizations to do, and while the DoD has demonstrated a willingness to invest externally on domestic soil, shifting to a global perspective of external investment will help to capture the wealth of capabilities available beyond U.S. borders. In general, industry has come to this realization but with the long history of DoD technology domination, this cultural shift will be challenging.
Assuring global technology investment plans are an integral part of a broader technology investment strategy – A common misstep in global technology investment planning is to frame international technology investment as special or extraordinary in some way, warranting a different set of metrics and motivators. Unless international technology investments are integrated into an organization’s broader technology strategy, they will remain marginalized and their ability to significantly impact the success of the organization will be limited.
Avoiding viewing international technology engagement as a perk – In the past, when organizations could succeed with primarily an inward focus, individuals who engaged in global technology outreach were often cast in a negative light—with the assumption being they were more interested in international travel than a broader mission of technology excellence. With the mandate for
successful organizations to be externally focused, the outmoded idea of international technology being a perk should be eliminated. If the international engagement is in line with the broader strategy of the organization it should be viewed as necessary and of high importance.
Guarding against protecting the base – As organizations transition to a more external and international investment profile, traditional organizational structures and staffing strategies need to change in kind. These changes can be viewed as a threat to the existing staff of the organization, resulting in investment decisions that protect headcount instead of making the sometimes difficult decision to reduce internal headcount in exchange for expanding international technology engagement and sourcing. Organizations that have made the transition to a more global technology footprint have made these hard decisions and suffered through the turbulence the new direction creates.
3.3.3 Opportunities and Challenges for the DoD
If DoD adopts industry practices for global technology engagement, many of the same challenges faced by industry will emerge. Learning from industry’s experience in globalizing as DoD sets its plans will be a key enabler of success:
Drive a series of small changes in line with a long-term strategy – Like many large industrial organizations, the DoD is a large operation and change takes time. One potential path to successfully transitioning DoD to a more global technology footprint is to define a longterm vision and implement a series of small changes over time in order to drive to the new state.
Measure of success and reward system – Even small-scale change is difficult if the reward system is not structured to encourage individuals to think more globally. Putting the right metrics and reward system in place is a necessary first step to drive the desired change to more global thinking.
Focusing on key allies as a starting point – Global technology outreach requires a high level of trust with your selected partners. The DoD has long-term allies where this trust exists and relationships that are ready-made to expand global technology engagement. Exercising new engagement models with familiar and trusted partners could facilitate a strong start.
International S&T engagement is important for researchers to stay abreast of the state of the art in their fields, to share best practices, and to leverage others’ investments and knowledge. Global technology awareness is critical for decision makers—whether in academia, industry or government—to make strategic S&T investments and sound policies for international engagement, economic competitiveness, and national security.
The committee did not identify a single “best” approach to maintaining global S&T awareness, but rather believes an integrated suite of methodologies—spanning the spectrum from passive to active as indicated in Table 1-1—is needed. Opportunities exist for DoD to adopt or adapt practices in use by other institutions and sectors as it implements its strategy to maintain awareness of global advances in science and technology.
Mechanisms for global S&T engagement and awareness used by academia, industry, and government range from passive and requiring little to no human-to-human interaction (e.g., literature scanning and analytical bibliometric techniques) to in-person dialogues and knowledge exchange (e.g., conferences and workshops) to research collaboration and personnel exchanges. None of these mechanisms in isolation suffices. For example, publications and bibliometric analyses represent only a slice of ongoing research and do not necessarily capture the leading edge due to the lag between discovery and publication. Similarly, while attending workshops and conferences provides access to a large community of researchers, awareness tends to be serendipitous and without strategy.
In order to provide enterprise-wide insight into global S&T advances and to inform strategic decision making, each of the above mechanisms should be coordinated organization-wide and the outputs of those activities (e.g., technology papers, notes, reports, data visuals) should be accessible to all relevant S&Es across the enterprises. In addition, there should be an ongoing forum for those S&Es and all entities with explicit responsibility for international S&T (including forward-deployed personnel) that allows researchers to communicate their needs and to provide feedback loops to improve data gathering. Finally, international S&T knowledge and insight from throughout the organization should be integrated and synthesized in a useful form to inform senior-level decision makers. The entities responsible for aggregating and analyzing these inputs need to have an ongoing dialogue with senior S&T decision makers to (a) communicate top-down technology and policy priorities to inform international engagement strategies and (b) provide bottom-up insight on global S&T trends, field assessments of the state of the art in critical technology areas, as well as any cultural and geopolitical factors that could impact technological competitiveness (and for DoD, national security).
Current DoD approaches to exploit global S&T advances, both through awareness and engagement, include relying on the DoD S&T workforce (both at Service laboratories and DoD research centers) and program managers at defense funding agencies to know what the best research is and where it is occurring; S&E exchanges and visits with defense allies; forward-deployed offices and personnel to scout for the best technology; and bi- and multilateral cooperation agreements for joint research. While these sources all provide valuable input, they also face several shortcomings. First, most researchers’ awareness
comes from publications (which paint a partial and delayed picture) and through their scientific networks (which are often closed or tightly tethered networks). In addition, researcher bias can create blinders. Second, defense research accounts for an ever-decreasing fraction of the global S&T output; furthermore, there are many S&T fields for which the cutting edge will not be driven by defense research. Thus, S&E exchanges and collaborations need to occur through both defense and civilian (potentially including nontraditional allies) channels. Lastly, DoD currently operates under the premise that its S&Es, program managers, and S&T policy makers have sufficient connectivity to (a) maintain awareness of emerging S&T advances around the world and (b) ensure that such global awareness informs strategic S&T decision making. However, based on committee discussions and visits with various DoD offices and staff, there appears to be limited connectivity between those entities tasked with explicit responsibility for international S&T and with the general DoD S&T workforce and DoD S&T policy makers.
During visits to overseas S&T organizations, several themes emerged that may also provide insights into how DoD might improve its international S&T engagement approaches:
Support and encouragement of international S&T engagement by senior-level policy makers is critical – In each of the countries visited, there was widespread acknowledgment by leadership and/or senior policy officials across academia, industry, and government that international S&T collaboration is important. An increasing global need to share resources and leverage investments was emphasized as a significant driver for S&T collaboration. According to the Australian Academy of Sciences, collaboration not only allows sharing of resources and infrastructures, but also of risk, which leads to better outcomes for all stakeholders. While acknowledging that one industry or nation cannot do everything alone can be difficult, Taiwan’s Ministry of Economic Affairs (MOEA) and ITRI noted that exposing one’s own strengths and weaknesses often has the result of bringing potential partners to the table.20 Meetings with university administrators and industry executives revealed that industries became global decades ago and that universities are now in the process of following suit.
Tools for communicating that international engagement is important across an organization include: national S&T strategies and plans that prioritize international engagement, education and immigration policies that encourage global talent migration, federal research funding support of international collaboration, and visibility of leading international researchers and technology and innovation experts as leaders at universities and industries.
20For example, ITRI’s collaboration with TNO (Nederlandse Organisatie voor Toege-past Natuurwetenschappelijk Onderzoek) in the 3D Printing Technology International Alliance leverages each’s respective strengths in 3D metal printing and precision machinery.
Industries and universities have different motivations for international collaboration – Academic researchers seek collaboration with the best researchers, regardless of where they are. Universities seek linkages with other universities to promote international knowledge exchange and to leverage others’ investments and infrastructure. As universities are heavily reliant on government support for research, they maintain strong linkages with government funding agencies. In contrast, industry is driven by business factors—seeking to increase the value of and market for its products, reducing costs, improving workforce capabilities, etc. Industries are open to R&D collaborations that have potential to increase new ideas, expertise, and a pipeline of talent.
Country-level (and even institutional-level) strategies are important for building international S&T collaborations – While each of the Services’ S&T field offices highlighted building international relationships as a primary objective, there did not appear to be a strategic approach for identifying the most opportune countries and institutions for collaboration. Numerous factors shape the type, and quality, of S&T relationships countries have with one another, for example, concerns related to national and regional security, economic competitiveness, and the desire to absorb foreign talent pools and leverage foreign S&T developments. Country-specific strategies also should consider whether countries are overperformers or underperformers in S&T areas targeted for collaboration. For example, Australia’s former Chief Scientist, Ian Chubb, suggested that strengthening relationships with countries that are S&T underperformers today (e.g., through research and infrastructure support) will set in place important long-term relationships that will be critical for future collaboration with that country as its S&T capabilities improve. For countries that are S&T overperformers, opportunities may exist to collaborate in precompetitive areas, such as in standardization. Lastly, country-specific strategies may need to evolve over time, in particular, countries with rapidly emerging economies. For example, in certain areas of U.S.-Thai S&T cooperation, the role of the United States is evolving from being predominantly a capacity builder to a peer-partnership model. In Asia, international collaboration is often driven by shared cultural norms, languages, and societal challenges. The committee noted the growing role that ASEAN (Association of South East Asian Nations) is playing in setting future S&T collaboration goals and agendas in southeast Asia.21 Understanding those enablers of successful longstanding, as well as emerging, collaborations between Asian nations can provide lessons for the U.S. defense research enterprise (DRE) as it strives to become a better S&T collaborator in Asia. Given the numerous scientific, cultural, historical, and geopolitical factors that impact S&T relationships between countries, it would be beneficial for the DoD to develop country-specific strategies for prioritizing engagement and collaboration activities.
21There are current efforts to develop the STI ASEAN Action Plan of Science and Technology 2015-2020, which will look at country-specific roles in science, technology, and innovation.
Enterprise-wide global S&T awareness begins with ensuring a globally aware S&T workforce – Workforce exposure to the international S&T community can occur through academic networks, participation at international S&T conferences and workshops, or by maintaining an ongoing presence overseas.
Many of the organizations visited by the committee highlighted the strengths of universities in establishing strong international linkages (e.g., through scientific conferences and meetings, collaborative research, student and postdoc exchanges) and noted that these linkages occur regardless of top-down support. Faculty from Australian National University noted that universities rely on their own researchers to know what and where the best research is occurring globally; thus, it is critical to encourage researchers to establish international networks. Taiwan’s National Research Council echoed this message, indicating that while it can create opportunities for seminars and visits (through top-down funding support), it is ultimately the responsibility of researchers to promote knowledge exchange and to establish mutually beneficial relationships.
These networks are most successful when they are supported by ongoing opportunities for in-person interaction at hosted research seminars, international S&E exchanges, scientific conferences, workshops and meetings, and trade shows. Conference attendance is highly encouraged both in academia and industry. ITRI emphasized the value of international conferences and trade shows as a mechanism for researchers to both gauge the current state of the art in their fields and to share technology awareness with colleagues. According to IBM Research–Tokyo, in addition to international conference attendance, actual overseas research experience can provide a broader international perspective. Many overseas organizations, such as the Australian Research Council, have programs22 that provide support for such overseas research experiences. Thailand and Sweden also have government initiatives to encourage global talent migration, not only of their S&T workforce but also to recruit and retain the best researchers.
In addition to ad hoc or limited engagements, many S&T organizations maintain offices overseas, such as the Japan Society for the Promotion of Sciences (JSPS),23 ITRI,24 Taiwan’s National Science Council,25 Thailand’s Ministry of Science and Technology,26 Denmark’s Innovation Centres,27 Australia’s
22“Future Fellowships” and “Discovery Early Career Research Awards” are two such support schemes aimed to attract the best early- and mid-career researchers to Australia.
23JSPS currently has overseas offices in London, Stockholm, Bonn, Strasbourg, Nairobi, Cairo, Bangkok, Beijing, Tokyo, Washington, DC, and San Francisco.
24ITRI currently has overseas offices in San Jose, California; Berlin, Germany; Moscow, Russia; and Tokyo, Japan.
25The NSC currently has 16 overseas offices that are tasked with establishing overseas relationships and identifying good researchers and opportunities for collaboration with overseas universities.
26Thailand’s Ministry of Science and Technology (MOST) has offices in Brussels, Beijing, and Washington, DC.
Defence Science and Technology Organisation (DSTO),28 and Sweden’s Agency for Growth Policy Analysis.29 In general, these offices share many similar functions, such as serving as liaisons with overseas counterparts, networking and supporting overseas activities of their home organizations, scouting for S&T developments, and identifying opportunities for collaboration. While these overseas offices show varying degrees of connectivity to their home organization and across organizations, they all display elements of coordination and integration worth examination by the DoD and U.S. government S&T organizations. The U.S. component of the U.S.-Thai Armed Forces Research Institute for Medical Sciences (AFRIMS) emphasized that overseas presence alone is not enough to maintain global S&T awareness. Staying at the leading edge and remaining competitive for research funding requires ongoing conference attendance, S&E exchanges, and dialogues with in-country and regional researchers. Equally important are effective reachback mechanisms that enable two-way sharing of information with their home organization. Finally, it is essential that field staff have technical expertise and cultural backgrounds that are well-matched not only to their overseas placement, but also to their home organization. While discussions with industry reveal that, in general, international experience is critical for career development and upward mobility, many DoD staff indicated that overseas posts are not viewed as career enhancing. This attitude is consistent with perceptions that international S&T engagement is a “low priority” for program managers across the Services and reinforces the earlier discussion emphasizing the need for additional support from leadership.
Opportunities exist to be more engaged with other governmental S&T field offices and forward-deployed S&Es and science attachés overseas – For example, the Department of State has Environment, Science, Technology, and Health offices at embassies around the world, and the National Science Foundation has international offices in Tokyo, Paris, and Beijing. The traveling committee subgroup found that there was very little, if any, connectivity between the Service S&T field offices and the ESTH offices in Canberra, London, and Bangkok. There are also many forward-deployed U.S. government researchers and personnel around the world working at foreign universities and research institutes that could provide additional opportunities for engagement and networking. In addition, committee discussions with overseas organizations that also have international field offices (e.g., the U.K.’s Science and Innovation Network, Sweden’s Agency for Policy Growth, as well as embassies that have civilian and defense science attachés) reveal overlapping missions and technology awareness objectives. There was little evidence of connectivity between these entities and
27Denmark has Innovation Centres in the United States, Germany, China, Brazil, India, and South Korea.
28DSTO has defence attachés posted at Australian embassies in Japan, the United Kingdom, and the United States.
29The Swedish Agency for Growth Policy Analysis has offices in Brazil, the United States, China, Japan, and India.
the DoD. In addition, there are opportunities for members of the DRE with international responsibilities and activities to engage with foreign S&T attaches stationed at various embassies in Washington.
Connectivity in S&T is uneven between non-U.S. defense and civil sectors – This is sometimes a result of mismatched S&T investments or focus areas (for example, some countries have very strong civilian research investments in aging and social issues); other times there are historical or cultural barriers. Strong dividing lines between the civilian and defense basic research have made engagement by the Services’ field offices in Tokyo with Japan’s basic research S&T enterprises difficult. Leveraging between the defense and civil sector is challenging and not common. In other countries, however, strong ties between the defense and civilian R&D communities were evident.
Horizon scanning and foresight activities should be multifaceted and include international inputs – During its overseas visits, the committee learned about national technology scanning efforts in Japan (Center for R&D Strategy under Japan Science and Technology Agency), Australia (the Australian Academy of Sciences has an memorandum of understanding with DSTO to provide some foresight services), and Thailand (APEC Center for Technology Foresight under the National Science Technology and Innovation Policy Office). These programs consisted of global technology surveys, expert panels, and road-mapping exercises with researchers, business representatives, and policy makers. The committee also learned about foresight activities from two Thai industries (Siam Cement Public Company Limited and PTT Public Company Limited) that consisted of a combination of deep publication assessments and IP mapping performed by large technical teams of researchers and technology business consultants. In each of these cases, foresight activities were highly international and, in the case of industry, restricted in technological scope.
Meetings with the Service S&T field offices and laboratories suggest that the primary means of horizon scanning occurs through traditional bibliometrics (e.g., most cited papers, most cited authors, keyword hotspots, patents). This is also the case for briefings provided by the Assistant Secretary of Defense for Research and Engineering (ASD(R&E)) on horizon scanning efforts, in which there appeared to be few international inputs (other than foreign language publications). DoD’s international S&T activities are a unique opportunity to provide a valuable source of inputs to inform DRE-wide collaboration strategies and S&T trends and investment priorities. Beyond ad hoc technology assessments conducted by Service field office staff, the committee did not hear about any significant Service or ASD(R&E) efforts to coordinate or analyze international S&T inputs from any of the Services’ S&T enterprises. In fact, other than input from the Technical Cooperation Program (TTCP) and the north Atlantic Treaty Organization Science and Technology Organization (NATO STO), it is not clear how any of the Services’ international S&T activities are informing DoD S&T policies.
Creating international alumnae networks – Many foreign organizations visited by the committee discussed the value of creating and leveraging “alum-
nae networks” of researchers and S&T professionals that have experience working internationally. In some cases, members of these networks have returned home after working overseas and others are now expatriates in other countries. This is an interesting model that DoD might consider, that is, leveraging alumnae networks of DoD S&Es and program managers with international experience, whether through international collaborations and professional networks, field experience at the Services S&T offices, or through international S&E exchanges. Such networks could be useful resources to get the benefit of individual knowledge or of the group as a whole. These networks should be tracked and analyzed over time for trends to assess the health of DoD’s international collaborations and S&T workforce. Organizations like JSPS make impressive efforts to monitor trends in S&E exchanges between Japan and other countries. These data could provide interesting insight when correlated against other factors, such as differences between countries’ S&T policies and budgets, economies, and other cultural and geopolitical considerations.
The outcomes of international S&T engagement and collaboration activities should be evaluated against success metrics – This is standard practice in the private sector, where the bottom-line driver provides clear motivation. Box 3-1 summarizes key factors used by IBM Tokyo, for example. Based on the committee’s discussions with other governmental organizations, the use of such success criteria is uneven. Those organizations whose motivation is to generate economic value through S&T investment tend to measure outcomes at some level, whereas those whose motivation is “public good” tend to focus on input measures. An Expert Group established to help the European Union set priorities for international collaboration identified four considerations: (1) cooperation can increase the world’s ability to tackle global challenges; (2) complementary scientific and innovative strengths lie outside the European Union; (3) there are important gaps in European competences; (4) cooperation can increase access to global markets and infrastructures.30 The group asserts the “need for an evidence and analysis-based strategy” and identifies a comprehensive array of indicators that could inform decision making.31
In spite of advance requests to DoD briefers, the committee did not hear about effective metrics being used to measure international S&T engagement outcomes at any of the organizations visits, including from ASD(R&E), DoD laboratories, and Services S&T offices in the United States and overseas. While some presentations did share anecdotal success stories, there appears to be no ongoing assessment of the effectiveness (or efficiency) of ongoing international engagement activities.
30“International Cooperation in Science, Technology and Innovation: Strategies for a Changing World.” Report of the Expert Group established to support the further development of an EU international STI cooperation strategy. ISBN 978-92-79-26411-5. Copyright European Union 2012, p. 10.
31Ibid, p. 53.
A discussion with IBM Research–Tokyo on their criteria for opening a new international R&D center highlighted some key elements of successful engagement. The proposed technology center has to be strategically relevant, the location must have a critical mass of talent, and there needs to be stable and long-term government support for the technology. There also must be openness to partnering along with respect for intellectual property. Although IBM hires in-country, they always place experienced U.S. researchers at the center to provide insight into applications and to provide connectivity with other centers. IBM Research–Tokyo noted that critical mass can provide important input for spotting emerging technology areas ripe for partnership. For example, highly talented, but isolated individuals could imply a lack of sectoral or governmental support or investment or a lack of connectivity to the global S&T enterprise.