Investments in science have become central to U.S. innovation and competitiveness policy. Indeed, legislative efforts such as the Frontiers in Innovation, Research, Science, and Technology (FIRST) Act and the America Competes Act explicitly link funding in science to the national innovation agenda. Yet as Ben Bernanke has pointed out, scholars are not able to explain how federal support for R&D affects economic activity. The nation has no data to guide it on the direct impact of science on the economy, so it is not known either how much money to spend on science or what kind of science. Policy makers are forced to rely on expenditure multipliers, rather than true measures of impact The Census Bureau can fill the current information gap by expanding the resources dedicated to measuring the micro foundations of scientific and technical knowledge production and their impact on the broader economy (the Bureau does jointly perform the Business R&D and Innovation Survey along with NCSES at NSF). This initiative provides a low-cost approach to fill this gap by producing a new series - the Innovation Measurement Indicators. These indicators provide direct information about the effect of research on the economy by tracing the links between research training and the subsequent earnings and career trajectories of trainees as well as the characteristics of the firms where they work and that they start up. The indicators also provide direct information about the links between federal research funding and the characteristics of firms supplying the research inputs
Pilot intended to go to production to improve timeliness, Scientific / research
New measures of business innovation.