Policy Forum

The R&D Portfolio: A Concept for Allocating Science and Technology Funds

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Science  29 Nov 1996:
Vol. 274, Issue 5292, pp. 1484-1485
DOI: 10.1126/science.274.5292.1484


A research and development (R&D) portfolio concept is proposed to allocate federal funds for science and technology. The portfolio approach, analogous to that used by financial investors to ensure returns under conditions of great uncertainty and risk, would help ensure that national investment in R&D is productive during a period of great change and severe fiscal stringency. It could be adapted to the decentralized structure of the American R&D enterprise and rely on the informed advice of scientists and engineers on priorities and funding needs at each level of the policy-making decision process.