Limited by Design: R&D Laboratories in the U.S. National Innovation System

By Michael M. Crow; Barry Bozeman | Go to book overview

APPENDIX I
The National Comparative Research and Development Project
Phases, Objectives, and Methods

As a result of limited empirical knowledge about the system, R&D policy making is poorly rationalized. It is difficult to even begin thinking strategically about how best to deploy national R&D resources. The institutional design perspective advocated in part 1 requires considerable knowledge of the institutions being designed or redesigned, certainly a great deal more knowledge than is typically brought to R&D policy making.

The chief resource for this monograph is the set of findings developed under the National Comparative Research and Development Project (NCRDP). Despite considerable diversity in approach and findings, the more than thirty studies (see appendix 1) performed under the NCRDP have had the same overall objectives: to provide a baseline of empirical knowledge about the R&D laboratory systems of the U.S. and other nations; to provide new conceptual tools for thinking about R&D systems and institutions. Since 1984, NCRDP researchers have obtained data from literally thousands of scientists, science administrators, and science policy makers. Further, NCRDP researchers have personally visited and studied more than 150 R&D laboratories in seven nations. As mentioned in part 1, this monograph is a datainformed policy analysis that draws from various NCRDP studies as well as from the personal experience of the researchers. Its purpose is to address some of the major strategic questions confronting policy makers concerned with the U.S. R&D laboratory system in general and federal laboratories in particular.

Part 2 presents an overview of the NCRDP. The purpose of this overview is to provide a background of the NCRDP that will offer the reader a better understanding of the nature and magnitude of the data from the NCRDP and the study procedures employed in its various phases.

To this point, there have been five distinct phases of the NCRDP:

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