At the urging of the President's Committee of Advisors on Science
and Technology, state governors, industry leaders, elected officials,
and leaders in education, the Assistant to the President for Science
and Technology issued a Presidential Review Directive in September
1996, directing the National Science and Technology Council (NSTC) to
review the government-university partnership in research and associated
educational activities, and to recommend ways to strengthen it. The
goal was to assess and reaffirm the principles of the partnership,
promote cost-effective university-based research, ensure fair
allocation of research costs, and support the linkage between research
and education, all while maintaining appropriate accountability for
expenditure of public funds. Where appropriate, the findings and
recommendations emerging from this review also apply to nonprofit
independent research institutes.
The review was carried out by a multiagency Task Force under the
auspices of the NSTC Committee on Science. The Task Force solicited the
views of universities, university associations, and the Federal
research agencies regarding the issues they considered most pressing.
These responses provided the basis for the interagency discussions and
for the report's findings and recommendations.
The NSTC finds that the partnership is sound and continues to serve
the nation in important ways. The NSTC identified a number of areas in
which the partnership can be strengthened and will take action in three
areas. First, the NSTC is issuing a proposed statement of
the principles of the partnership to clarify the roles,
responsibilities, and expectations of the parties and provide a
framework for the development and analysis of future policies, rules,
regulations, and laws. The principles will be finalized, in
consultation with universities and other interested parties, including
the Congress, within twelve months from the date this report is issued.
Second, the NSTC reaffirms the importance to the nation,
to the research enterprise, and to the future scientific and
engineering workforce, of the linkage between research and education.
The NSTC will take actions to strengthen this linkage, and urges
universities to do likewise. Third, the NSTC, through the
Federal agencies that fund university-based research, will implement a
set of actions to help make the partnership more effective and
efficient. Finally, the NSTC will establish a mechanism
to provide for ongoing review of the partnership.