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US Moving From Technology Leader To Laggard
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gregdavid
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gregdavid,
User Rank: Apprentice
12/4/2013 | 12:43:43 PM
The government and study isn't perfect but to discount it is foolish and negligent
The data supporting this is far beyond the DOD snippet.  Our academic output of STEM graduates is in decline and has been for more than 10 years while other countries are maintaining a steady stream, and in many cases growing ouput of STEM graduates.

Look at most US corps focus in tech advancement and it has been to cut costs.  The US doesn't need more cost containment leaders and cultures-you can train a monkey to cut costs--it needs more strategic leaders who see ways to drive revenue or impact the customer/stakeholder through the use of technology.  One of the issues is that so few tech and IT leaders have any real sense of business with the number one commandment of sustaining profit and growing revenue and keeping the firm healthy.  Healthy and growing firms provide much needed jobs and focus on innovation and continuous R&D. 

This study and others like it offer real value for the leaders who really are in the know.  If the US's largest employer is the government (which it is), and if R&D spending is dropping, then this will spill over into private and other public areas of technology and quickly.  BTW----corporate spend on R&D has been dropping too. 

Historically the US government's research and spending on technology provided critical and necessary value and data to private industry for the last 50 years and to ignore it is just not sound strategic nor balanced thinking. 

A drop in R&D on technology and/or US based STEM candidates only means one thing and it isn't good news for those that want to see the US continue to grow and remain a leader.  It also is not good news for those in the technology product, engineering, or corporate IT marketplace, and the future candidates we so desparately need to come out of school for us to remain in our # slot. 

The fact that so many current tech, corporate IT, and engineering leaders are not in the know, and solidly stuck in quadrant one of Maslows's Competency Model clearly shows we are sliding down the hill and mostly unaware.  The widespread data in many studies all indicate the same thing, both from the government and private industry. 
RobPreston
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RobPreston,
User Rank: Author
12/3/2013 | 10:22:46 AM
Re: Sounds Like A Plea For DOD Funding
I don't think it's a plea for DOD funding specifically, but these studies (most of whose backers are unnamed in this piece) often have vested interests. Every federal and commercial interest with a heavy R&D component wants more funding, so it's in their interests to say the sky is falling. I'm not saying US spending on R&D is everything it should be--I don't know. But it's always important to evalulate who the chicken littles are.
WKash
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WKash,
User Rank: Author
12/2/2013 | 4:44:49 PM
Re: Sounds Like A Plea For DOD Funding
What DOD spends on R&D is likely to be a poor indicator of US R&D investments, given the wind down of military presence abroad and the sequestration.  Even DARPA is absorbing serious cutbacks.   What's maddening is the continued inaction in Congress on H-1B visas that could at least partially build up STEM expertise here in the US instead of forcing so many companies and talented individuals to go off shore.

 
D. Henschen
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D. Henschen,
User Rank: Author
12/2/2013 | 4:10:26 PM
Sounds Like A Plea For DOD Funding
If our scientific mastery is measured by DOD spending, God help us. I'd rather not fund the DOD if it means coming up with better ways to spy on citizens and kill people. We don't need better drones, missles and massive surveillance programs. We need to solve hunger, improve world health and reduce dependence on petrochemicals -- pretty much the problems the Gates Foundation is going after.

Why not measure innovation based on the scientific output of U.S.-based colleges, universities, and commercial businesses. Instead we foster xenophobic paranoia about cyber theft from abroad and fear of what China is up to. Stop listening to the dark warnings from hawks and start thinking about what's right for people. 


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