Science & Engineering Indicators 2000 showed that advances in information technology (IT) (i.e., computers and communications products and services) drove an increase in technology development and allowed the United States to increase technical exchanges with its trading partners. This edition of Science and Engineering Indicators examines many of the same indicators, with additional perspectives provided by international data on service industries and on patenting activity in two new areas, human DNA sequencing and Internet business methods. New data on applications for U.S. patents by residence of inventor have also been added.
This chapter begins with a review of industries that rely heavily on research and development (R&D), referred to here as "high-technology industries." High-technology industries are noted for their high R&D spending and performance, which produce innovations that can be applied to other economic sectors. These industries also help train new scientists, engineers, and other technical personnel (see Nadiri 1993; Tyson 1992). Thus, the market competitiveness of a nation's technological advances, as embodied in new products and processes associated with high-technology industries, can serve as an indicator of the economic and technical effectiveness of that country's science and technology (S&T) enterprise.
The global competitiveness of the U.S. high-technology industry is assessed through an examination of domestic and worldwide market share trends. Data on royalties and fees generated from U.S. imports and exports of technological know-how are used to gauge U.S. competitiveness when technological know-how is sold or rented as intangible (intellectual) property. Also presented are new leading indicators designed to identify those developing and transitioning countries with the potential to become more important exporters of high-technology products over the next 15 years.
This chapter explores several other leading indicators of technology development by examining changing emphases in industrial R&D among the major industrialized countries and comparing U.S. patenting patterns with those of other nations in two important technology areas, human DNA sequencing and Internet business models.
The chapter also examines venture capital disbursements in the United States by stage of financing and by technology area. Venture capital is used in the formation and expansion of small high-technology companies.