Cover: International Cooperation in Research and Development

International Cooperation in Research and Development

An Inventory of U.S. Government Spending and a Framework for Measuring Benefits

Published 1997

by Caroline S. Wagner


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The United States spends considerable sums on international cooperation in research and development (ICRD). Policymakers have expressed concerns about these cooperative activities. Some fear that the United States is paying more than its fair share of the work's cost. Others worry that the country is giving away critical technologies to potential foreign competitors. Additional concerns have been voiced that cooperative programs subordinate the interests of true science to strategic or political ends. These claims are difficult to test, however, for a number of reasons: the large number of projects; the long timelines of projects; and the focus on reporting research results, not measuring larger benefits. This report uses information from the RAND RaDiUS research and development (R&D) database, complemented by agency interviews, to catalogue international cooperative R&D and to construct a framework for assessing benefits the United States may derive from participation in such research. Based on the framework of metrics developed for this project, the author also presents a case study examining cooperation in earthquake sciences and seismology to test the ability of these metrics to provide feedback on benefits.

This report is part of the RAND monograph report series. The monograph/report was a product of RAND from 1993 to 2003. RAND monograph/reports presented major research findings that addressed the challenges facing the public and private sectors. They included executive summaries, technical documentation, and synthesis pieces.

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