The Role of Macroscale Management Decisions

It is essential that we take time to explore the broad S&E and societal issues and that we look and plan ahead. These activities require information at the national level, including macroscale management decisions, which must be sufficiently flexible to allow creativity and imagination to manifest themselves during implementation of planning and programs. (Firm predictions are difficult because of the discontinuities in development and synergistic interactions in a large system.) Industry provides examples of the value of applying visionary ideas at the macroscale and making corresponding management decisions. At General Electric, for example, Jack Welsh both articulated a clear vision and spearheaded measures structured at the level of the whole company for ensuring long-term success. R&D activities depend on the decisions taken at the macroscale (national), S&E community (providers and users), organization (agency), and individual levels. In addition, the international situation increasingly affects results in any individual country. An international strategy would require a new set of assumptions as compared to the national ones (Roco 2001b).

a) Strategic macroscale decisions taken at the national level. These have broad, long-term implications. Different visions and implementation plans may lead to significantly different results. Examples and principles follow.

- NSF collects information on the evolution of sources of R&D funding like the one shown in Fig. A. 18. Federal funding is relatively constant from 1992 to 2000. In the same time interval, private R&D funding has increased and approximately doubled as compared to federal funding. The federal government share of support for the nation's R&D decreased from 44.9% in fiscal year 1988 to 26.7% in fiscal year 1999. Also, more funds in industry are dedicated to funding development and applied research. That is, society spends more overall for shorter-term outcomes and less for long-term outcomes. Government needs to direct its funding more on complementary aspects: fundamental research (see Bohr's quadrant, Fig. A. 19) and mission-oriented projects that encourage depth of understanding, synergism, and collaboration among fields (see Pasteur's quadrant, Fig. A. 19). Frequently, the focus in this last quadrant is on developing a generic technology.

Billions or Ā«instant 1996 dollarĀ« 300

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