Machine Design

American innovation "slipsliding away"

America may be losing it's innovative edge in science and technology, according to a study by the Georgia Tech School of Public Policy.

Meanwhile, other countries have been strengthening their educational and research programs, and narrowing the gap with the U.S.

Asian nations such as China, South Korea, Japan, Taiwan, Singapore, and India have shown particular gains. One disturbing trend is the rapid growth of Asian researchers as Asians earn doctoral degrees in greater numbers. Also, spending for R&D by China, South Korea, and Taiwan increased by about 140% from 1995 to 2001, versus 34% by the U.S. Since 1988, the number of U.S. patent applications for inventions originating in Asia increased 789%, while U.S. patent applications for homegrown technology grew only 116%. Finally, the study shows that the U.S. share of science and engineering papers published worldwide fell from 38% in 1988 to 31% in 2001.

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