R&D: The missing link
- By William Matthews
- Jun 12, 2000
While the information technology sector of the U.S. economy has boomed over
the past decade, federal spending on information technology research and
development has declined. And the decrease is likely to hurt IT development
20 years from now, warns Andrew Grove, chairman of the giant computer chip
maker Intel Corp.
From 1990 to 1999, annual federal spending on IT R&D declined from
$75 billion to $62 billion. During the same period, IT industry R&D
increased, but more industry research does not make up for the lost government
research, Grove said.
Industry R&D tends to focus on short-term development of products that will produce profits in the marketplace. Government R&D, however, typically focuses on long-term technology development.
Government R&D performed 20 to 30 years ago "is what's fueling the economy now," Grove
told Congress' Joint Economic Committee June 6. And what is not being done
today will be missed two decades hence, he said.
The $62 billion spent in 1999 on IT R&D should be doubled, he said.