Science, Technology, and Innovation Policy

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Science, technology, and innovation policy shapes the science and research enterprise, with the goal of directing its activities to serve public needs. RAND experts have explored how to incentivize high-value products in the health care sector, examined government options for promoting and accelerating innovation in housing, and determined how to design "prizes" that spur breakthroughs.

  • Robot hand touching CGI lightbulb, photo by PhonlamaiPhoto/Getty Images

    Blog

    National Security Commission on AI Requests New Ideas; RAND Responds

    The National Security Commission on Artificial Intelligence put out an open call for submissions about emerging technology's role in the global order. RAND researchers stepped up to the challenge and submitted a wide range of ideas.

    Feb 21, 2020

  • A man texts on his mobile phone while waiting in line at dawn to register at Ifo refugee camp in Dadaab, Kenya, photo by Internews Europe/Flickr CC BY-NC-ND 2.0

    Essay

    The Right Technology Can Help Refugees Stay Connected

    Nearly 71 million people globally are displaced by conflict and persecution. There have been some real advances in technology to help them, but innovations have often been fragmented, without a larger vision. A more strategic approach to technology could better serve their needs.

    Mar 11, 2020

Explore Science, Technology, and Innovation Policy

  • RAND researcher Anna Elizabeth 'Nancy' Nimitz, September 1, 1958

    Content

    A Brief History of RAND

    RAND was incorporated as a nonprofit corporation in 1948. From its early years to the present, RAND research is characterized by its objectivity and nonpartisanship, its quality and scientific rigor, and its dedication to improving policymaking on the most pressing issues of the day.

    Aug 3, 2018

  • A desk with 3D printing technology on top

    Commentary

    Downloadable Guns and Other 3-D Printing Security Threats

    Americans may soon be able to legally access blueprints for 3D-printed guns. The growing opposition to these weapons shows that potential security threats do not have to be inevitable. The security challenges inherent in 3D printing could be addressed, while the development of industry norms can still be shaped.

    Jul 31, 2018

  • John Seely Brown

    Announcement

    Innovator John Seely Brown to Address Pardee RAND Graduates

    John Seely Brown, independent co-chairman of Deloitte's Center for the Edge, member of the Amazon board of directors, and former chief scientist of XEROX and director of research and development hub PARC, will make the keynote address at the commencement exercises of the Frederick S. Pardee RAND Graduate School in Santa Monica on June 16.

    Jun 8, 2018

  • News Release

    News Release

    3D Printing Could Disrupt Labor Markets and National Security

    While advances in additive manufacturing offer potential breakthroughs in prosthetic arms, jet engine parts, and a host of other products, 3D printing, as it is known, may also disrupt traditional labor markets and exacerbate existing security threats from violent actors.

    May 9, 2018

  • 3D printer and printable drone, gun, and airplane turbine.

    Article

    Four Ways 3D Printing May Threaten Security

    3D printing has the potential to improve lives. But it could also bring new perils, such as disrupting weapons regulations and jeopardizing manufacturing jobs. While there's reason to be cautious about this technology, there's also danger in overreacting and overregulating what could be a new era of innovation.

    May 8, 2018

  • A graphic representing an accelerating future

    Article

    Can Humans Survive a Faster Future?

    Life is moving faster and faster. Just about everything—transportation, weapons, the flow of information—is accelerating. How will decisionmakers preserve our personal and national security in the face of hyperspeed?

    May 1, 2018

  • Events @ RAND Audio Podcast

    Multimedia

    Security 2040: The Promise and Perils of AI, 3D Printing, and Speed

    Emerging technologies, such as artificial intelligence and 3D printing, will pose new risks to global security. In this Events @ RAND podcast, multidisciplinary teams of experts discuss some of the most crucial trends and how to harness their potential.

    Apr 24, 2018

  • scientific illustration designed at RAND for Haskins Lecture

    Multimedia

    Pursuit of the Extraordinary

    In this Events @ RAND podcast, Dr. Mae C. Jemison, RAND's 2018 Haskins Fellow, discusses why we must consciously pursue an extraordinary tomorrow in order to build a better world today.

    Jan 23, 2018

  • Blockchain cryptocurrency financial technology concept with binary code

    Commentary

    Blockchain: Should We Believe the Hype?

    Industry, governments and academics are all speculating on the ways in which blockchain could revolutionize everything from finance to the music industry. Now is the time for policymakers and industry to take note and find out what blockchain could offer.

    Nov 30, 2017

  • Autonomous vehicles

    Commentary

    Driverless Cars: The Race Is On for Policy to Catch Up

    Driverless cars could be tested on Britain’s roads by 2021. While this is likely to be great news to many, the race is now on for policymaking to catch up. Why? Because driverless cars could substantially change more than just the way people travel.

    Nov 27, 2017

  • Robots working with cardboard boxes on a conveyer belt

    Commentary

    AI's Promise and Risks

    Artificial intelligence seems to be advancing faster than efforts to understand its potential consequences, good and bad. And discussions about AI often veer toward extremes. More balanced, rigorous analysis is needed to help shape policies that mitigate AI's risks and maximize its benefits.

    Oct 24, 2017

  • Three scientists working in a lab looking at petri dishes

    Commentary

    Can Open Science Help to Make Research More Accessible?

    The leading principle of open science is that anyone, whether they are part of the research community or the public, should be able to access scientific knowledge. Free circulation of knowledge, the sharing of research results, and transparency of methodology are core tenets of the scientific method.

    Oct 13, 2017

  • Group of scientists working in laboratory

    Commentary

    After the March for Science: What Now?

    Politicized rhetoric may imply otherwise, but scientific expertise and civic participation are not at odds with each other. As the scientific community decides how to respond to shifting political attitudes about science, it's time to focus on a long-term strategy for science policy in the United States.

    Apr 26, 2017

  • An autonomous version of Acura's RLX Sport Hybrid SH-AWD navigates around a dummy at carmaker Honda's testing grounds at the GoMentum Station autonomous vehicle test facility in Concord, California June 1, 2016

    Commentary

    How California Is Trying to Keep Autonomous Vehicle Development on Track

    California's Department of Motor Vehicles recently proposed new regulations governing the testing and deployment of autonomous vehicles. Will this help retain the state's status as a testing and deployment ground for the technology, and will it make California safer?

    Apr 10, 2017

  • View of San Francisco at sunrise

    Announcement

    RAND Opens Office in the San Francisco Bay Area

    RAND has opened an office in the Bay Area to foster collaboration with the region's leaders and researchers working to solve today's complex problems. Nidhi Kalra, a senior information scientist, is leading the new office.

    Apr 3, 2017

  • News Release

    News Release

    RAND Study Examines 200 Real-World 'Zero-Day' Software Vulnerabilities

    Zero-day software vulnerabilities—security holes that developers haven't fixed or aren't aware of—can lurk undetected for years. They are useful in cyber operations and in defensive and academic settings. Whether to disclose or stockpile them is an ongoing debate.

    Mar 9, 2017

  • News Release

    News Release

    Domestic Political Discord Now the Greatest Threat to U.S. Global Leadership

    Faced with traditional threats from opponents such as Russia and emerging threats from non-traditional adversaries such as the Islamic State, the United States needs a comprehensive foreign policy strategy that can provide stability and improve policymakers' ability to manage in today's more complex and turbulent times.

    Jan 18, 2017

  • News Release

    News Release

    Twenty Percent of U.S. Households View Landline Telephones as an Important Communication Choice

    The predicted death of the household landline telephone in the United States may be premature. While most Americans like their cell phones, twenty percent of American households still think having a landline phone is important.

    Nov 17, 2016

  • Journalist Soledad O'Brien and DJ Patil, the United States' chief data scientist, at RAND's Politics Aside event in Santa Monica, November 11, 2016

    Blog

    Getting the Most Out of Data Science

    Policymakers should pursue efforts to assure that the array of data collected by the federal government benefits all Americans by improving the availability, reliability, and transparency of the information, said DJ Patil, the United States' chief data scientist, at RAND's 2016 Politics Aside event.

    Nov 12, 2016

  • Soldiers conduct cyberspace operations during a training rotation at the National Training Center at Fort Irwin, California, January 24, 2016

    Commentary

    The Pentagon's New Chief Innovation Officer Should Tread Lightly

    The innovation efforts taking place in the Department of Defense are exciting and have much potential. But installing a chief innovation officer with centralized authority who may become just another bureaucratic player among many could spoil those efforts.

    Nov 3, 2016