Monday, June 12, 2006

Government funded R&D

Government funded R&D programs are important for two reasons. First, they are large, probably representing somewhere between a quarter and a half of important R&D outlays, depending upon what is counted. Secondly, governments fund many types of research that for-profit investors do not find attractive, such as basic medical research, risky research in areas where the least is known, and projects that involve openness and sharing of information. Sir. John Sulton, winner of the 2002 Nobel prize for medicine and a key player in the Human Genome Project, reckoned that open research was at least nine-times more productive than research that was secret.


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