In a move few scientists anticipated, the Chinese government has decreed that all scientific data generated in China must be submitted to government-sanctioned data centers before appearing in publications. At the same time, the regulations, posted last week, call for open access and data sharing. The possibly conflicting directives puzzle researchers, who note that the yet-to-be-established data centers will have latitude in interpreting the rules.
Researchers are often forced to follow circuitous and time-consuming routes to access the journal articles they need, even when their institutions and organizations have legitimate subscription access. Not only do these barriers waste time and cause frustration, they are stifling the pace of scientific innovation.
Tech companies claimed the top five spots in the U.S. for research and development spending again last year, investing a combined total of $76 billion. Amazon was at the top of the list, spending $22.6 billion in 2017, 41 percent more than in 2016 (when it also topped the list).
The next thing in space-based weapons could be decades old, according to Michael Griffin, the first defense undersecretary for research and engineering. “Directed energy is more than just big lasers,” Griffin said. “That’s important. High-powered microwave approaches can effect an electronics kill.
Within the Department of Energy, every program will see at least a 10 percent increase in their budget. And advanced computing and fusion power research--a long-promised and oft-overhyped form of nuclear energy--get an extra raise. At this moment, 35 countries are collaborating on ITER, an experimental magnetic fusion device in southern France, and with this bill the US increased its investment to $122 million.
NASA has selected 128 proposals from American small businesses to advance research and technology in Phase II of its 2017 Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) program. These selections support NASA's future space exploration missions, while also benefiting the U.S. economy.
Research and development spending by U.S. business has finally begun increasing robustly as the economic recovery has continued, reaching $499 billion--the most spent by any nation in a single year--in 2015, the most recent year for which data is available. What’s more, the business sector’s share of those outlays rose to a record 69 percent. For mid-market companies, there’s even bigger news: Many are contributing more than their fair share to the R&D boom.
The U.S. National Science Board (NSB), which in January stated that China was catching up to the United States in research and development (R&D) expenditures, said in a 7 February statement that if current trends continue, the board “expects China to pass the United States in R&D investments by the end of this year.”
The Department of Energy’s (DOE’s) National Laboratories are among the most innovative places on the planet. Forged in the fires of World War II, they have become wellsprings of discovery and innovation that have made - and continue to make - a profound and positive impact on the lives of millions.