Business Strategy and Public Policy
Edited by Yannis Caloghirou, Nicholas S. Vonortas and Stavros Ioannides
Chapter 13: US Policy Towards Research Joint Ventures
13. US policy towards RJVs1 Nicholas S. Vonortas AN INTRODUCTION TO US TECHNOLOGY POLICY UNTIL 2001 For much of the post-war period, the economic policy of the United States (US) had, more or less, been synonymous to macroeconomic policy. The federal government had largely shied away from industrial policy and civilian technology policy.2 Various presidents since Herbert Hoover, in the late 1920s, had expressed interest in technological advancement for economic growth and in the diﬃculties of industry segments – primarily small manufacturers – in producing and/or accessing new technologies. However, it was President William Clinton and Vice President Albert Gore who ﬁrst issued an oﬃcial document outlining an aggressive approach to technology policy, for the federal government, focusing directly on economic growth. Released only a few months after their arrival to the White House, this document proclaimed a radical departure from the post-war policies of the US, as is evident early on the ﬁrst page: American technology policy must move in a new direction to build economic strength and spur economic growth. The traditional federal role in technology development has been limited to support of basic science and mission-oriented research in the Defense Department, NASA, and other agencies. This strategy was appropriate for a previous generation but not for today’s profound challenges. We cannot rely on the serendipitous application of defense technology to the private sector. We must aim directly at these new challenges and focus our eﬀorts on the new opportunities before us, recognizing that government can play...
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