Phase Transition in Korea-U.S. Science and Technology Relations

By Caroline Wagner; Anny Wong et al. | Go to book overview

2.
Institutional Support for Cooperation

This section describes the institutions within the U.S. government and the government of Korea that support and maintain international collaboration in S&T. Much of the information on the U.S. government is drawn from an earlier RAND report, International Cooperation in Research and Development: An Update to an Inventory of U.S. Government Spending, MR-1248, 2001.


U.S. Government Agencies Supporting International
Cooperation

The U.S. government actively supports and participates in international S&T initiatives. In 1997, the U.S. government spent more than $4.3 billion to support S&T cooperative activities, out of a federal R&D budget of $72 billion. These activities range from huge multinational megascience projects (like the International Space Station) to small grants that fund research experiments conducted by U.S. scientists in cooperation with their counterparts in other countries. It also includes assistance projects such as those helping to develop a pest-resistant strain of wheat for Central American farms, monitoring of the global atmosphere, or seeking the causes of disease. International cooperation in R&D amounts to about 6 percent of the U.S. federal R&D budget (Wagner, Yezril, and Hassell, 2001).

In addition to spending on international R&D, the government also funds other activities that have a scientific or technological component and that involve international coordination or cooperation. These activities include weather tracking, mapping, seismic detection, and space and defense operations. In 1997, mission-oriented activities accounted for perhaps as much as $1 billion of U.S. government spending over and above R&D spending.

With only a few exceptions,4 the U.S. government does not fund international S&T activities for their own sake: Collaborative activities usually build scientific capabilities that are central to scientific or national interests or that meet missionspecific requirements. Accordingly, international activities are not budgeted

____________________
4
At least two R&D agencies have offices designed to coordinate and encourage international linkages. The Fogarty Center at the National Institutes of Health spends R&D funds to facilitate international exchange, and the Office of International Programs at the National Science Foundation provides assistance to existing collaborations to aid with travel or conferencing requirements.

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