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Industrial Research Institute's 260 associates perform 80% of US industrial research. They want NSF as it is, funding academic basic research beyond industry's horizon. Several prestigious panels reporting to the House Science Subcommittee have advocated similar positions: NSF should not be judged by tech transfer, but by its production of graduates who move into industry. [Robert L. Park, WHAT'S NEW, 3/5.] (Perhaps NSF should be under the Education Department.)

John Wiley of the National Academy of Sciences' Government- University-Industry Research Roundtable told the House committee that "whatever may be our second most important mode of technology transfer is so much less important than producing high-quality graduates that it is lost in the noise." Others agreed that NSF should not take on applied-research responsibilities in the absence of a clear national industrial policy. Support for physical infrastructure at universities will require additional funds, as research budgets are already stretched too thin. [Audrey T. Leath, (202) 332-9662, FYI #26, 3/5. Maria Zemankova, dbworld, 3/6.] (This would suggest NSF, DARPA, and NIST as the lead agencies for academic, military, and pre-commercial research. A dozen other agencies get federal research money, and critics are calling for consolidation.)

Dwight Duston, director of innovative science technology for the Strategic Defense Initiative Organization, argues that DoD still excels at high-risk applied research. Fewer R&D dollars will come from the sale of weapons, so there should be increased direct support of military and dual-use research. He believes that SDIO offers the best model of merging military and commercial support. [Defense News, 3/1, p. 19.]

The US Army would like to merge intelligence estimates and AI-based predictions to its battle simulations. Better communications technology is also needed, but funding is scarce. Development of helicopter-borne attack command centers might win R&D funding. [Neil Munro, ibid.]

Newsweek says that there's less to Clinton's 36-page "industrial policy" plan than it seems. It offers support for high-tech research, small-business innovation, and environmental awareness, but no real policy. Clinton had campaigned for a civilian DARPA, but found no support from industry. There will be no industrial-policy czar, no central coordination of government research programs, no reorganization. Venture capitalists will get no special break. Clinton's promised 170 manufacturing extension centers have mutated into increased support for academic outreach programs. Where Clinton throw his support -- clean cars and fast networks -- he doesn't throw much money. Government R&D is to increase only $1B per year, or 1.5% above inflation. [Marc Levinson, 3/8, p. 42.]

High-tech industry will benefit from Clinton's proposed 7% investment tax credit; start-ups will benefit from the capital gains relief for investors. [Paul Gillin, CW, 2/22, p. 32.]

Clinton values openness to public opinion, and is creating several ways to encouraging input. Charles Osgood notes that the Pentagon has long had a free 800 number. Last year it took 16K calls at a cost of $1.3M -- $80 per call. Nothing is free. [KCBS, 3/4.]

Edward Whitman, acting assistant secretary of the US Navy for research, development, and acquisition, is beginning a broad review of modeling and simulation technology. [Keith Hodson, Defense News, p. 22.] (Getting your favorite technology mentioned at this survey stage could lead to a big payoff.)

"ThinkTank: Centers of Entrepreneurship" is a Dutch national network with support from government, banks, and venture groups. A.V. van Groningen of the Erasmus University Rotterdam School of Management is currently leading a group through the US to study entrepreneurial support models. [Doug Ling. Richard Shyduroff (rds[email protected]), [email protected], 3/8. Bill Park.]