CHICAGO—A campaign to increase federal support for research and industrial applications of new technology began last month with a series of conferences held throughout the country.

The conferences were designed both to garner support and thinking on new R&D initiatives and to provide regional views on global competitiveness and the declining technological status of the United States. Sponsored by the businessoriented Conference Board and the Council on Research and Technology (CORETECH), the four day-long meetings featured calls to action by prominent figures in science and industry as well as workshops on federal programs to encourage cooperative research efforts.

“There’s a consensus on such issues as the need to safeguard our basic scientific and technical resources,” explained Stephanie Becker of CORETECH, a Washington-based lobbying coalition of research universities, high-tech industries and trade and professional organizations formed last February. “But there’s a lot of new ideas, too, such as innovative ways to...

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