President Barack Obama announced today that he intends to nominate Ernest J. Moniz to head the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE). Moniz is the Cecil and Ida Green Professor of Physics and Engineering Systems at Massachusetts Institute of Technology, as well as the director of the MIT Energy Initiative (MITEI) and the Laboratory for Energy and the Environment. At MIT, Moniz has also served previously as head of the Department of Physics and as director of the Bates Linear Accelerator Center.
A grieving Oregon mother who battled Facebook for full access to her deceased son's account has been pushing for years for something that would prevent others from losing photos, messages and other memories—as she did. The Oregon Legislature took up the cause as well, only to be turned back by pressure from the tech industry, which argued that both a 1986 federal law and voluntary terms of service agreements prohibit companies from sharing a person's information. Still, lawmakers pushed forward, seeking to treat digital information, from photos to intellectual property, as material property for estate purposes.
In a 2012 report, the Obama administration announced that it was "jumpstarting" the nuclear industry and injected significant funding into two new nuclear reactor projects in Georgia. But this investment—the first of its kind in three decades—belies an overall dismal U.S. nuclear power landscape, according to a recently published report. Where Japan and many European countries responded to the Fukushima disaster with public debate and significant policy shifts in the nuclear arena, the U.S. has scarcely broached the subject.
Late last week, the National Science Foundation , along with federal partners, announced its commitment to expand public access to the results of its funded research. This announcement follows a memorandum issued from the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy directing science-funding agencies to develop plans to increase access to the results of federally funded research.
Russia may suspend its lease for some facilities at the Baikonur space complex in Kazakhstan, opening the way for its joint administration by the two countries, a senior Russian space official says. The launch pad for satellite-deploying Zenit rockets at the complex will be the first facility to be reviewed, Roscosmos deputy head Sergei Savelyev told the Ivzestia newspaper in an interview published Thursday.
High-level talks with the Chinese government to address persistent cyberattacks against U.S. companies and government agencies haven't worked, so officials say the Obama administration is now considering a range of actions. China-based hackers have long been an economic and national security concern, but as cybersecurity experts report an increase in attacks, U.S. leaders are looking at ways to better address the threat and analyze its impact.
The National Institutes of Health Council of Councils Working Group on Tuesday approved a to retire all but 50 of hundreds of chimpanzees kept for federally funded research. The chimps would be sent to a national sanctuary, and no return to breeding them for research would take place. The proposal also calls for major cuts in grants to study chimps in laboratories.
Recent research at Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory finds utility customer-funded energy efficiency programs expanding across the United States. Spending on these programs, which are funded by mandatory charges on utility bills, will double to nearly $10 billion per year by 2025. Drivers for this growth include energy efficiency resource standards required of utilities.
Western U.S. coal companies looking to expand sales to China will likely succeed, according to Stanford University economist Frank Wolak. But, due to energy market dynamics in the United States, those coal exports are likely to reduce global emissions of greenhouse gases.
A special panel of scientists convened by the government issued Friday a 1,146-page draft report that details in dozens of ways how climate change is already disrupting the health, homes and other facets of daily American life. The blunt report takes a global environmental issue and explains what it means for different U.S. regions, for various sectors of the economy and for future generations.
The wind energy and ethanol industries celebrated a victory Wednesday with the inclusion of tax credit extensions in the tax relief bill approved by Congress, but that may not mean lost jobs will come back anytime soon. The measure approved Tuesday night as part of the bill extending tax cuts for most taxpayers also helps wind energy and ethanol producers by extending tax credits, most of which expired Monday.
Global R&D spending is forecast to grow by 3.7%, or $53.7 billion in 2013 to $1.496 trillion, according to research by analysts at Battelle, Columbus, Ohio, and R&D Magazine, Rockaway, N.J. The largest share of this increase, $22.9 billion, is expected to come from China, which continues its decade-long annual double digit increases in R&D investments.
The watchword heading into 2013 is uncertainty, and the effect on the U.S. research and development enterprise is more unclear than ever. The current economic condition and uneasy prospects for the future combined with a federal government funding projection that could range anywhere from flat to significant declines have limited the prospects for 2013.
With significant fiscal debates ongoing, a detailed discussion of FY 2013 federal R&D funding would be of limited value at this time. Instead we highlight a few key issues and describe how the current budget will likely be developed. For an up-to-date analysis of federal R&D appropriations, we recommend the AAAS R&D Budget and Policy Program.
R&D is generally a long-term investment, building upon the results of previous years' expenditures, leading first to the generation of new knowledge through basic research and ultimately to products and services through applied research, development, and commercialization. These are considered to be functional impacts.
The amount of R&D funded by U.S. academia is forecast to increase by 2.1% in 2013 to $12.7 billion. The amount of R&D performed by U.S. academia (funded by all sources) is expected to increase by 0.4% to $66.6 billion. Both of these values generally are well below 3% or larger range in previous Global R&D Funding Forecasts.
In the following ten pages the Battelle/R&D Magazine team presents information on five key industry segments within the U.S. and global R&D enterprise. These five have been examined over the past two forecasts, allowing us to identify and interpret the underlying trends and drivers of these segments' R&D spending.
Increasing healthcare costs, aging populations, and rising prevalence of chronic diseases are among the factors that will continue to shape the direction of industrial life science R&D in 2013. Technology deployment in healthcare information technology and analytics will also have an increasing impact on research while contributing to efficiency and quality.
Cost containment will influence aerospace, defense, and security (ADS) R&D, where industry investment is linked to government needs and funding. In the west, large new weapon system development programs will continue to give way to technologies that extend the life of extant platforms. In space-related research, budget constraints at NASA may stimulate additional new private sector investment in the U.S. and abroad.
Private-sector energy R&D covers a diverse portfolio of technologies related to electricity generation and use, exploration and extraction, efficiency, clean and sustainable fuels, and transportation. Energy innovation can be influenced by public-sector policies, research, and funding which complements and stimulates industrial R&D.
Chemicals and advanced materials comprise a broad sector that includes chemicals, catalysts, polymers, metals, ceramics, and nanomaterials—from products sold by the trainload to those that cost hundreds of dollars per gram. It is an innovation-intensive business: for example, the U.S. chemical industry is responsible for over one tenth of all patents filed in the United States.
R&D investments have become highly competitive between nations, with each looking to outspend the others to maintain a competitive edge. This internationalization of R&D now pits the U.S., China, Japan, and the EU against each other to develop breakthrough technologies that can be developed into marketable products that can build their country's export trade.
While strictly categorized as an emerging nation by the IMF, the Federative Republic of Brazil is the world’s fifth largest country in geographic size and population and sixth overall in gross domestic product (GDP). By 2040, Brazil’s economy is forecast to be the fourth largest in the world, behind China, the U.S., and India.
Gross domestic expenditures on R&D (GERD) in the Russian Federation nearly doubled (at constant prices) from 1998 to 2008, one of the highest growth rates at that time. Russia's 2013 R&D is forecast to grow to $38.5 billion, a 4.0% increase over the $37 billion spent in 2012.
India has averaged greater than 7% annual GDP growth since 1997, but the current outlook is unusually uncertain. Real GDP growth for 2012 is expected to be close to 5%, according to the International Monetary Fund (IMF). The IMF's GDP growth forecast for 2013 increases to nearly 6% following various recent reforms. 2013 economic growth is expected to yield R&D spending growth of about 12.2% over that spent in 2012.