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Council on Competitiveness

Innovate America, 2004

Allocate at least 3% of the total DOD budget for defense science and technology; direct at least 20% of that amount to long-term, basic research; intensify support for the physical sciences and engineering

National Science Board

Fulfilling the Promise: A Report to Congress on the Budgetary and Programmatic Expansion of the National Science Foundation, NSB 2004-15

Fund NSF annually at $18.7 billion, including about $12.5 billion for R&D

NOTES: NSF, National Science Foundation; DOD, Department of Defense; NIST, National Institute of Standards and Technology; DOE, Department of Energy.

  • Prepare students in American colleges and universities to become leaders who can extend the frontiers of knowledge and apply new concepts.

  • Attract the brightest young students both domestically and internationally.12


The federal government should establish a program to provide 200 new research grants each year at $500,000 each, payable over 5 years, to support the work of outstanding early-career researchers. The grants would be funded by federal agencies (NIH, NSF, DOD, DOE, and the National Aeronautics and Space Administration [NASA]) to underwrite new research opportunities at universities and government laboratories.

About 50,000 people hold postdoctoral appointments in the United States.13 Those early-career researchers are particularly important because they often are the forefront innovators. A report in the journal Science states


NAS/NAE/IOM. Science, Technology, and the Federal Government: National Goals for a New Era. Washington, DC: National Academy Press, 1993.


National Science Foundation. “WebCASPAR, Integrated Science and Engineering Data System.” Available at:

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