U.S. spending of almost $300 billion on knowledge

Forrester Report Claims R&D Studies Are Biased

Despite U.S. spending of almost $300 billion on knowledge, the analyst firm found common flaws: bias, flawed analysis, and shortsightedness.

By Thomas Claburn, InformationWeek, March 5, 2007 02:00 PM

‘Developed nations spend an average of $1,270 per capita per year toonmimprovingnowledge yet these investments fail to achieve the desired benefits’ according to Forrester’s study.

The U.S. spent almost $300 billion in public and private money on R&D in 2003, about half of all R&D spending by the 30 member countries of the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD). America can claim 35% of all patents filed in Europe, Japan, and at home. But such spending doesn’t create jobs or boost the number of goods and services produced by a country — also known as the gross domestic product (GDP)..

«Whether you favour or oppose stem-cell research, strong intellectual property protection, or nanotechnology, you will find an innovation study to support your point of view,» the study says. «Rather than seek the truth, audiences choose and sponsor the studies that confirm their political goals or social biases.»

The report also finds that analysis of national innovation systems is overly simplistic and that they confuse innovation with invention. The invention is a subset of innovation, and «national employment, power, wealth, and well-being depend more on the deployment of innovations than on the invention itself.»

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