U.S. Research and Development Funding and Performance: Fact Sheet

U.S. Research and Development Funding and Performance: Fact Sheet. Congressional Research Service.  John F. Sargent Jr. Updated September 19, 2019

Research and development (R&D) in the United States is funded and performed by a number of sectors—including the federal government, state governments, businesses, academia, and nonprofit organizations—for a variety of purposes. This fact sheet begins by providing a profile of the U.S. R&D enterprise, including historical trends and current funding by sector and by whether the R&D is basic research, applied research, or development. The final section of this fact sheet includes data on R&D performance by sector.

[PDF format, 6 pages].

Generation AI Establishing Global Standards for Children and AI

Generation AI Establishing Global Standards for Children and AI. World Economic Forum. September 11, 2019.

On 6-7 May 2019, the World Economic Forum Centre for the Fourth Industrial Revolution and its partners UNICEF and the Canadian Institute for Advanced Research (CIFAR) hosted a workshop in San Francisco on the joint “Generation AI” initiative. This workshop identified deliverables in two key areas: 1) public policy guidelines that direct countries on creating new laws focused on children and 2) a corporate governance charter that guides companies leveraging AI to design their products and services with children in mind. [Note: contains copyrighted material].

[PDF format, 18 pages]. 

Training the Next Revolution in American Manufacturing

Training the Next Revolution in American Manufacturing. Center for Strategic & International Studies. Charles Carson et al. July 25, 2019

In the United States, there is currently a dichotomy: employers are unable to fill manufacturing jobs, and yet there are hundreds of thousands of manufacturing workers looking for jobs. How can this be? Many point to a skills deficit across the U.S. workforce. Much like other aspects of daily life and the economy, technology is changing the way U.S. based companies manufacture goods for the global market. As technology permeates and alters the manufacturing industry, it has created a massive boost in manufacturing productivity, while simultaneously requiring fewer workers to maintain and increase production. For those still employed in the manufacturing sector, they also need to be better equipped with the skills to handle the new demands such advanced technology and techniques impose. This report analyzes different workforce development programs for advanced manufacturing across the nation, seeking to better understand what is required to educate and retrain the worker of the future. [Note: contains copyrighted material].

[PDF format, 41 pages].

Transforming the U.S. and EU Electric Power Sectors: Workshop Report and Recommendations for Transatlantic Cooperation

Transforming the U.S. and EU Electric Power Sectors: Workshop Report and Recommendations for Transatlantic Cooperation. Center for Strategic & International Studies.  Sarah Ladislaw, Stephen J. Naimoli. August 29, 2019

Across Europe and the United States, the electric power sector is undergoing a fairly profound transformation driven by a changing fuel mix, higher penetration of renewable energy resources, changing consumer preferences and interface with the electric power system, and evolving business models. Policy and regulatory frameworks need to be updated to reflect these changes and facilitate future transformation. In both places this transformation is uneven, with some localities moving along faster than others, and complex, driven by a variety of factors. While the transformation is multidimensional, two conversations relating to the long-term vision for the sector are central to navigating a path forward. First, what are the challenges and opportunities associated with higher penetration of renewable energy and distributed energy resources? Second, what are the opportunities and challenges associated with the electrification strategies, particularly for measures to electrify transport and industry? In addition, the increased digitalization of the energy sector writ large, and specifically the electric power sector, raises issues about access to data, cybersecurity, and grid resilience, all areas that have become an integral part of the conversation in the European Union and the United States on the transformation of the electric power sector.

The following brief outlines some of the issues related to these topics that were discussed at a recent U.S./EU stakeholder workshop held at the Center for Strategic and International Studies in June 2019. The information and reflections here do not necessarily represent the views of the participants and are meant to serve as useful background to stimulate further discussion. [Note: contains copyrighted material].

[PDF format, 16 pages].

The Public Face of Science Across the World: Optimism and Innovation in an Era of Reservations and Inequality

The Public Face of Science Across the World: Optimism and Innovation in an Era of Reservations and Inequality. American Academy of Arts & Sciences. Matthew C. Nisbet and Erik C. Nisbet. July 2019.

In recent years, scientists and civil society leaders have grown increasingly worried about a pervasive “antiscientific” culture in the United States. Despite such fears, several long-standing public opinion trends offer reassurance to those alarmed about the cultural status of science and technology today. Since the 1970s, polls have indicated that the great majority of Americans voice confidence in the leadership of the scientific community, believing optimistically that the societal benefits of their work outweigh any harms or potential moral trade-offs. In contrast, during the same period, public confidence in almost every other major institution has plummeted. Americans have expressed similarly strong support for government funding of scientific research, recognizing the value of scientific activity to society. [Note: contains copyrighted material].

[PDF format, 56 pages].

Top 10 Emerging Technologies 2019

Top 10 Emerging Technologies 2019. World Economic Forum. July 2, 2019.

The technologies on the list, which is curated by members of the Forum’s Expert Network, are selected against a number of criteria. In addition to promising major benefits to societies and economies, they must also be disruptive, attractive to investors and researchers, and expected to have achieved considerable scale within five years.

“From income inequality to climate change, technology will play a critical role in finding solutions to many of the challenges our world faces today. This year’s emerging technologies demonstrate the rapid pace of human innovation and offer a glimpse into what a sustainable, inclusive future will look like,” said Jeremy Jurgens, Chief Technology Officer at the World Economic Forum.

“Technologies that are emerging today will soon be shaping the world tomorrow and well into the future – with impacts to economies and to society at large. Now that we are well into the Fourth Industrial Revolution, it’s critical that we discuss and ensure that humanity is served by these new innovations so that we can continue to prosper,” said Mariette DiChristina, Editor-in-Chief of Scientific American, and chair of the Emerging Technologies Steering Committee. [Note: contains copyrighted material].

[PDF format, 17 pages].

Ethics in Scientific Research: An Examination of Ethical Principles and Emerging Topics

Ethics in Scientific Research: An Examination of Ethical Principles and Emerging Topics. RAND Corporation. Cortney Weinbaum et al. June 5, 2019.

Scientific research ethics vary by discipline and by country, and this analysis sought to understand those variations. The goal of this project was to provide researchers, government officials, and others who create, modify, and enforce ethics in scientific research around the world with an understanding of how ethics are created, monitored, and enforced across scientific disciplines and across international borders. The authors reviewed literature from across scientific disciplines and conducted interviews with experts in the United States, Europe, and China. The research had two motivations: (1) to inform researchers and sponsors who engage in research in emerging scientific disciplines and who may face new ethical challenges, and (2) to inform research sponsors — including government officials — who wish to encourage ethical research without unintentionally encouraging researchers to pursue their research in other jurisdictions.

This analysis led to an understanding of which ethics are common across disciplines, how these ethics might vary geographically, and how emerging topics are shaping future ethics. The authors focused on the ethics of scientific research and how the research is conducted, rather than on how the research is applied. This distinction excluded from this research an analysis of so-called “dual-use” applications for military purposes. [Note: contains copyrighted material].

[PDF format, 118 pages].