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Science and Engineering Indicators 2004
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Chapter 6:
U.S. Technology in the Marketplace
New High-Technology Exporters
International Trends in Industrial R&D
Patented Inventions
Venture Capital and High-Technology Enterprise
Characteristics of Innovative U.S. Firms

Industry, Technology, and the Global Marketplace

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U.S. Technology in the Marketplace top of page
  • High-technology industries are driving economic growth around the world. The global market for high-technology goods is growing faster than that for other manufactured goods. Over the past 22 years (1980–2001), output by high-technology manufacturing industries grew at an inflation-adjusted average annual rate of 6.5 percent. Output by other manufacturing industries grew at just 2.4 percent. (More...)

  • The United States continues to be the leading producer of high-technology products and is responsible for about one-third of the world's production. In 2001, U.S. high-technology industries accounted for 32 percent of world output. (More...)

  • The market competitiveness of individual U.S. high-technology industries varies, although each maintained strong market positions over the 22-year period examined. Competitive pressure from a growing number of technology-producing nations has led to a reduction or flattening of U.S. market share in recent years. Between 1998 and 2001, U.S. industry lost world market share in computers and office machinery and communication equipment, maintained a rather stable market share in aerospace and pharmaceuticals, and gained market share in scientific instruments. (More...)

  • Technology products account for a larger share of U.S. exports than imports, thereby making a positive contribution to the overall U.S. trade balance. U.S. high-technology industries contributed to the strong export performance of the nation's manufacturing industries. In 2001, exports by U.S. high-technology industries accounted for 17 percent of world high-technology exports. (More...)

  • Knowledge-intensive service industries fueled service-sector growth around the world. Global sales in knowledge-intensive service industries exceeded $12.3 trillion in 2001, up from $8.0 trillion in 1990. The United States was the leading provider of knowledge-intensive services, responsible for between 32 and 34 percent of world revenue totals during the 22-year period examined. (More...)

  • The United States is a net exporter of technological know-how sold as intellectual property. On average, royalties and fees received from foreign firms were three times greater than those paid out to foreigners by U.S. firms for access to their technology. In 2001, U.S. receipts from the licensing of technological know-how to foreigners totaled $4.9 billion, 24.4 percent higher than in 1999. (More...)

New High-Technology Exporters top of page
  • Based on a model of leading indicators, Ireland and Israel appear to be headed toward prominence as technology developers and exporters in the global market. In a group of 15 small or less-advanced countries, Ireland received the highest score in three of the four leading indicators and the second-highest score in the fourth. Israel, China, and Hungary also posted strong scores on several indicators. (More...)

International Trends in Industrial R&D top of page
  • Internationally comparable data show a resurgence in service-sector R&D in several industrialized countries. In 2000, service-sector industries, such as those involved in computer software development, accounted for 34 percent of all R&D performed by industry in the United States—nearly double their share in 1996. Large increases in service-sector R&D are also apparent in many European Union (EU) countries, especially Italy, the United Kingdom, and France. (More...)

  • In many industrialized countries, aerospace, motor vehicle, electronic equipment, and chemical industries conduct the largest amounts of R&D. In the United States, industries that provide computer services and manufacture electronic equipment and industrial chemicals led the nation in R&D. In Japan, the electronic equipment industry conducted the most R&D throughout the period reviewed, followed by the chemical and motor vehicle industries. Manufacturers of industrial chemicals, motor vehicles, and electronic equipment were consistently among the top five performers of R&D in the EU. (More...)

Patented Inventions top of page
  • In 2001, more than 166,000 patents were issued in the United States, 5 percent more than a year earlier. U.S. resident inventors received nearly 88,000 new patents in 2001, which accounted for about 53 percent of total patents granted. (More...)

  • Patenting in the United States by foreign investors remains highly concentrated by country of origin. From 1963 to 2001, Japan and Germany accounted for 56 percent of U.S. patents issued to foreign inventors, and the top four countries—Japan, Germany, France, and the United Kingdom—accounted for 72 percent. In 2000 and 2001, residents of Taiwan were awarded more U.S. patents than residents of France or the United Kingdom. (More...)

  • Recent U.S. patents issued to foreign inventors emphasize several commercially important technologies. Japanese patents focus on consumer electronics, photography, photocopying and, more recently, computer technology. German inventors are developing new products and processes associated with heavy industry, such as motor vehicles, printing, advanced materials, and manufacturing technologies. Taiwanese and South Korean inventors are earning more U.S. patents in communication and computer technology. (More...)

Venture Capital and High-Technology Enterprise top of page
  • Investor commitments to venture capital funds fell sharply, especially when compared with the large amounts of money committed during the bubble years (1999 and 2000). In 1999, new commitments to venture capital funds jumped to $62.8 billion, a 111 percent gain from the previous year. By 2000, new commitments reached $105.8 billion, more than 10 times the inflow of new investor money recorded in 1995. In 2001, the inflow of new money dropped by more than 64 percent, to $37.9 billion, and totaled just $7.7 billion in 2002. (More...)

  • Internet companies continued to attract more venture capital than any other technology area in the postbubble period. In 2001 and 2002, venture capital firms disbursed $62 billion, with more than one-fourth of this total still invested in Internet firms. (More...)

  • Not all venture capital is seed money. During the past 10 years, money invested with entrepreneurs to prove a concept or to support early product development never accounted for more than 8 percent of total venture capital disbursements by venture capital funds and most often made up only 2 to 5 percent of the annual totals. The latest data show that the share of all venture capital classified as seed financing represents just 1 percent of total disbursements in 2001 and 2002, down from about 2 percent in 1999 and 2000. (More...)

Characteristics of Innovative U.S. Firms top of page
  • A recent survey examining innovative activities in which information technology (IT) was a significant or critical component in developing new products or processes found that nearly half (48 percent) of responding firms developed an IT-based innovation within the past year or expected to develop one within 12 months. Surprisingly, U.S. companies providing computer-related services were more innovative than companies manufacturing computer hardware. (More...)

  • Process innovation appears to generate more revenue for innovative firms than does product innovation. When innovative firms were asked to identify the type of innovation (product or process) that contributed most to company revenue, the number of firms identifying process innovations outnumbered the number of firms identifying product innovations by almost 60 percent. (More...)

  • R&D continues to be important to the innovation process. According to survey respondents, 41 percent of innovators reported that in-house R&D made a large contribution to their IT-based innovation, 31 percent said that conducting R&D was a very important part of their growth strategy, and 20 percent indicated that outsourced R&D made a large contribution toward IT-based innovation. (More...)

  • Most responding firms indicated that IT was important in conducting business. Those firms identified as innovators placed even more emphasis on IT, with nearly 74 percent of innovators saying it was very important to their business. Firms viewed IT goods and services as very important for increasing productivity, facilitating communication, and reducing costs. (More...)

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