Engineering -- an endless frontier
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Research and Development
Organized research began in the late nineteenth century.  As a percentage of the gross domestic product (GDP), research and development spending in the U.S. took off after World War II and peaked around 1964.  Since then its R&D intensity has been matched by German and Japan.  The relative decline in US public funding for research is especially pronounced in the physical sciences.   More charts on the trend and distribution of US R&D (pdf).
Historical R&D spending in Germany, Japan, and the US Historical trends in the public and industrial funding R&D
Distribution of federal research funding R&D funding and performance
Source:  NSB: Science and Engineering Indicator 2002.

References

Armstrong, J. A. 1995.  What should industry expect from academic engineering research?  in National Academy of Engineering, Forces Shaping the U.S. Academic Engineering Research Enterprise.  Washington DC: National Academy Press, pp. 59-68.

Bassett, R. K. 2002.  To the Digital Age: Research Labs, Starp-ups, Companies, and the Rise of Technologies.  Baltimore: Johns Hopkins University Press.

Beer, J. J. 1958.  Coal tar dye manufacture and the origin of modern industrial research laboratory.  Isis 49, part 2 (156): 123-31.

Berstein, J. 1984.  Three Degrees Above Zero: Bell Labs in the Information Age.  New York: Charles Scribner’s Sons.

Branscomb, L. M. and Keller, J. H., eds. 1998.  Investing in Innovation.  Cambridge: MIT Press.  This anthology contains papers such as “From science policy to research policy” by L. M. Branscomb; “University-industry relations: the next four years and beyond” by H. Brooks and L. P. Randazzese; “Industrial consortia” by D. Roos, F. Field, and J. Neely.

Brown, J. S. 1998.  Seeing differently: a role for pioneering research.  Research Technology Management, 41(3): 24-33.

Buderi, R. 2000.  Engines of Tomorrow.  New York: Simon & Schuster

Corey, E. R. 1997.  Technology Fountainheads.  Cambridge: Harvard Business School Press.

Crow, M. and Barry, B. 1998.  Limited by Design: R&D Laboratories in the U.S. National Innovation System.  New York: Columbia University Press.

Edelheit, L. S. 1998.  GE’s R&D strategy: be vital.  Research Technology Management 41(2): 21-7.

Frankel, E. G. 1993.  In Pursuit of Technology Excellence.  Westport, CN: Praeger.

Geppert, L. 1994.  Industrial R&D: the new priorities.  IEEE Spectrum, 31(9): 30-41.

Gomory, R. E. 1989.  Moving IBM’s technology from research to development.  Research Technology Management, 32(6): 27-32.

Gomory, R. E. 1989.  Product development: from “ladder science” to the product development cycle.  Harvard Business Review, 89(6): 99-105.

Grahm, M. B. W. 1985.  Industrial research in the age of big science.  In Research on Technological Innovation, Management and Policy, Vol. 2, ed. R. S. Rosenbloom, Greenwich, CN: JAI Press, pp.47-81.

Hart, D. M. 1998.  Forged Consensus: Science, Technology, and Economic Policy in the United States.  Princeton: Princeton University Press.

Hounshell, D. A. and Smith, J. K. 1988.  Science and Corporate Strategy: DuPont R&D 1902-1980.  New York: Cambridge University Press.

Israel, P. 1977.  From Machine Shop to Industrial Laboratory.  Baltimore: Johns Hopkins University Press.

Kaplan, G. and Rosenblatt, A. 1990.  The expanding world of R&D.  Special issue in IEEE Spectrum, 27(10): 28-78.

Matkin, G. W. 1990.  Technology Transfer and the University.  New York: Macmillan International.

Methe, D. T. 1995.  Basic research in Japanese electronic companies.  In Engineered in Japan: Japanese Technology-management Practices, eds. J. K. Liker, J. E. Ettlie, and J. C. Campbell.  New York: Oxford University press, pp. 17-30.

Myers, M. B. and Rosenbloom, R. S. 1996.  Rethinking the role of research.  Research Technology Management, 39(3): 14-18.

National Academy of Engineering. 1995.  Forces Shaping the U.S. Academic Engineering Research Enterprise.  Washington, D.C.: National Academy Press.

Oleson, A. and Voss, J., eds. 1979.  The Organization of Knowledge in Modern America, 1860-1920.  Baltimore: Johns Hopkins University Press.  Contains papers such as Rae, J. B. 1979.  “The application of science to industry” by J. B. Rae.

Reich, L. S. 1985.  The Making of American Industrial Research.  New York: Cambridge University Press.

Reinhardt, C. 1998.  An instrument of corporate strategy: the central research laboratory at BASF 1868-1890.  In Homburg ed al (1998), pp. 239-60.

Rosenbloom, R. S. and Spencer, U. J. 1996.  Engines of Innovation: US Industrial Research at the End of an Era.  Cambridge: Harvard Business School Press.  Contains “Some personal perspectives on research in the semiconductor industry” by Gordon Moore.

SRI International. 1998.  The role of NSF’s support of engineering in enabling technological innovation.  www.nwf.gov/pubs/1999/nsf98154/nsf98154.htm

Titus, G. J. 1994.  Forty-year evolution of engineering research: a case study of DuPont’s engineering research and development.  IEEE Transaction on Engineering Management, 41: 350-5.