CEOs underscore the commercial sector's reliance on academia's basic discoveries andtrained investigators

DIFFERENT IN KIND: Increasingly, university research is company-backed, but most is direct-output work, says Batelle's Douglas E Olesen.
In a recent letter to more than 300 members of Congress, the heads of 15 of the largest United States corporations argued for continued "robust" federal support of university-based research. Among those receiving the letter were presidential hopeful and Senate Majority Leader Robert Dole (R-Kan.), House Speaker Newt Gingrich (R-Ga.), and the chairmen of the major science- and budget-related committees.

The action by the chief executives reflects the commercial sector's growing dependence on universities for fundamental scientific advances and for the trained scientists needed to staff company labs, according to top industry science officers and academic officials. In light of this reliance, industry perceives a profound threat to its interests in the sharp budget cuts being pushed forward by...

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