We are all aware of the pressures that budgets are under; the era of endless government research funds is over. To stay ahead, we have to make things that count, either machines or ideas.
The U.S. was an unstoppable force throughout the past century because of its ability to innovate. At the center of that innovation was a philosophy shared by public and private research labs built on tackling hard problems with creative and determined zeal. It’s not that we have lost the ability to innovate, but we don’t always make our investments count.
To stay on top, the U.S. must realign its priorities and focus investment in areas that have the chance to create something other societies want. That means continuing to invest in science and technology (S&T), but we have to be smart about the way we do that. In harsh terms, we cannot afford to spend one dollar on things that will not help the U.S. stand apart from the rest of the world.