|Origins of the Review
Neither universities nor the Federal government have remained immune from the historic
shifts that have taken place in the last decade, including the globalization of the
economy; the growing interdependence of the economy and scientific and technical advances;
the increasing reliance of industry on universities for the performance of basic research;
and the continuing importance of research universities to the economic prosperity of
states and regions. The partnership between the Federal government and the nation's
research universities must evolve along with these changes so that it can continue to be
effective and efficient and serve the nation into the next century.
It was with these considerations in
mind that in September 1996 the Assistant to the President for Science and Technology
issued Presidential Review Directive - 4. In directing the National Science and Technology
Council (NSTC) to review the government-university partnership and recommend ways to
strengthen it, the President's Science Advisor was acting on the recommendations of
Council of Advisors on Science and Technology, state governors, industry leaders,
elected officials, and leaders in education. The NSTC was charged to assess the policies,
programs, and regulations that shape the partnership, associated educational activities,
and the administration of research. The goal was to examine the fundamental principles
that support 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.
NSTC Task Force
The review was carried out by a multiagency task
force chaired by the Associate Director for Science of the Office of Science and
Technology Policy. The task force membership including representation from the following
Federal agencies: The Departments of Agriculture, Energy, and Defense, National
Aeronautics and Space Administration, National Institutes of Health, National Science
Foundation, Office of Science and Technology Policy, and Office of Management and Budget.
The task force was supported by a working group with representation from the same
agencies. The task force solicited and reviewed the views of universities, university
associations, and of other Federal agencies that support university research for input
into its deliberations in preparing the report.
The National Conversation
With the release of the report Renewing
the Federal Government-University Research Partnership for the 21st Century,
the NSTC is initiating a national conversation on the principles that
should govern the partnership between government and universities. There
are a variety of mechanisms for participating in this national conversation.
For more information, please see Upcoming Events and Your
Comments to the left.
Assisting the Office of Science and Technology Policy
in conducting the national conversation is the
RAND Science and Technology Policy Institute,
a center within RAND that helps improve public policy by providing research and analysis
to OSTP and other government agencies
concerned with public policy affecting science and technology. RAND is a nonprofit institution
that helps improve policy and decision making through research and analysis.