WASHINGTON—The idea of making American industry more competitive through increased support for industrial and academic research and development is becoming a rallying cry for high-powered lobbying efforts here.

This winter has seen the birth of two privately funded, independent coalitions that unite members of high-tech industries, universities, trade associations and nonprofit organizations. It has also seen the formation of a 160-member Congressional Caucus on Competitiveness, and the introduction of legislation to provide money for research facilities and additional graduate fellowships.

The Council on Competitiveness, whose 25 institutional members provide the organization with an annual budget of $450,000, is looking at issues ranging from trade policy to student aid to increased support for the National Science Foundation. Its chairman is John Young, president of Hewlett-Packard and the former chairman of a 1985 presidential panel on industrial competitiveness. The Council's three vice chairmen reflect its wide base of support: Paul Gray, president...

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