NCPA - National Center for Policy Analysis


October 21, 2005

In a world where advanced knowledge is widespread and low-cost labor is readily available, U.S. advantages in the marketplace and in science and technology have begun to erode, say the National Academies. Indeed, they say a comprehensive and coordinated federal effort is urgently needed to bolter U.S. competitiveness and pre-eminence in science and technology.

The NA report -- written by a 20-member committee that included university presidents, CEOs, Nobel Prize winners and former presidential appointees -- says the ultimate goal of creating new, high-quality jobs for all citizens can be attained by developing new industries that stem from the ideas of exceptional scientists and engineers.

The NA recommends:

  • Increasing America's talent pool by vastly improving K-12 mathematics and science education; we must create a merit-based scholarship program to attract 10,000 exceptional students to math and science teaching careers each year so that each of the 10,000 teachers would serve about 1,000 students over their careers, having an impact on 10 million minds.
  • Sustaining and strengthening the nation's commitment to long-term basic research by increasing the national investment in basic research 10 percent each year over the next seven years, creating a new federal agency to research the nation's long-term energy challenges and making 200 new research grants for $500,000 each payable over the next five years.
  • Developing, recruiting and retaining top students, scientists and engineers from both the United States and abroad by offering 25,000 new undergraduate scholarships and 5,000 new graduate fellowships to U.S. citizens and by giving one-year visa extensions to international students with doctorates so they may seek employment in science and technology.
  • Ensuring that the United States is the premier place in the world for innovation by modernizing the U.S. patent system, realigning tax policies to encourage innovation and ensuring affordable broadband internet access.

Source: Press Release, "Broad Federal Effort Urgently Needed to Create New, High-Quality Jobs for All Americans in the 21st Century," National Academies, October 12, 2005; Report, "Rising Above The Gathering Storm: Energizing and Employing America for a Brighter Economic Future," National Academies, Committee on Prospering in the Global Economy of the 21st Century, Committee on Science, Engineering, and Public Policy, 2005.

For report text:


Browse more articles on Economic Issues