Collaborative Advantage

Research Report

Collaborative Advantage

December 23, 2005


As the U.S. loses its monopoly in high technology, policymakers are calling for increases in the number of science and technology graduates and in R&D investment. We believe these proposals fail to recognize what is distinctive about the emerging global economy. Our studies of engineering in multinational home countries and in emerging economies suggest that the U.S. cannot match the numbers of engineers being trained in India and China, and it is not clear how much benefits to U.S. firms will help the U.S. economy. Instead, the U.S. should seek "collaborative advantage" by developing a new role in the global technology system. We should train "global engineers," support research where there is true comparative advantage, and develop mutual-gain partnerships. [This article appeared in the National Academies of Science journal Issues in Science and Technology Winter 2006.]

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