Recapturing R&D Leadership

Posted on August 8, 2006  Comments (0)

Recapturing R&D Leadership by John Teresko

Lieberman says manufacturers need to focus on two concerns, the first is avoiding other people’s patents and the second is getting patents of their own or getting some exclusivity on the things that they’re making or designing. “Unfortunately it is virtually impossible to either know or satisfy yourself in advance of coming out with a product that you’re not going to infringe somebody’s rights.

Manufacturers should also focus on lobbying for more sensible patent laws. From our previous post on research support by Governments:

I happen to side with those like Lawernce Lessig that believe we are harming the United States economy by having a government policy that too restrictive about intellectual property. I believe countries that have sufficient clout to stand up to the United States, and who have a more sensible IP policy will gain a great advantage if the United States were not to adjust policies based on the ideas of Lessig and others.

GM, Ford and others should have been lobbying government to fix the health care crisis that was obvious in 1980 instead of lobbying to avoid regulation encouraging production of more fuel efficient cars. They now claim health care costs are harming them greatly and act as this is not something they should have managed more effectively. They should have more effectively used their clout to manage the problem a long time ago. And the current state of intellectual property is another area where special interests focused on the short term are doing long term harm to the economy.

# The federal government is expected to spend $96.6 billion funding R&D efforts, a modest increase of 1.8% over the $94.9 billion spent in 2005

Industry expenditures on R&D are expected to reach $211.9 billion in 2006 — an increase of 3.5% over the $204.8 billion expended in 2005.

Academia and other non-profits make up the remaining expenditure of $20.4 billion with academia increasing by a slim 1.1% and other non-profits increasing by a healthier 3.7%.

Finding good options for encouraging and investing in research and development is not as simple as spending more money, though more money is one significant factor. Getting even a simple overview is not an easy matter, but I suggest reading at least the first 5 items below:

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