Skip Navigation
Oklahoma State University

Oklahoma State University joins national call to strengthen R&D investment

Tue, June 23, 2015

Oklahoma State University today joined leaders of American business, industry, higher education, and science and engineering in an urgent call to action for stronger federal policies and investment to drive domestic research and development. Ten CEOs and 252 organizations signed “Innovation: An American Imperative,” a document aimed at federal decision makers and legislators. It underscores the findings — and warnings — contained in “Restoring the Foundation: The Vital Role of Research in Preserving the American Dream,” a report released by The American Academy of Arts & Sciences.

CEOs signing the statement are:

•           Samuel R. Allen, Chairman & CEO, John Deere

•           Norman R. Augustine, Co-Chair, Restoring the Foundation

•           Wes Bush, Chairman, President & CEO, Northrop Grumman

•           Kenneth C. Frazier, Chairman & CEO, Merck & Co., Inc.

•           Marillyn A. Hewson, Chairman, President, & CEO, Lockheed Martin Corporation

•           Charles O. Holliday, Chairman, Royal Dutch Shell plc

•           Joseph Jimenez, CEO, Novartis

•           W. James McNerney, Jr., Chairman of the Board & CEO, The Boeing Company

•           Satya Nadella, CEO, Microsoft

•           Jay Timmons, President and CEO, National Association of Manufacturers

In addition to businesses, OSU has joined more than 100 universities in this call to action to spur efforts needed to ensure that the United States remains competitive.

“Fundamental, curiosity-driven research is the life-blood of innovation, as well as the fire that ignites young minds in pursuit of careers in science and technology fields,” said incoming OSU Vice President for Research Dr. Kenneth Sewell. “Research universities like OSU have long been the primary providers of such research in the United States. We at OSU stand in full agreement that investments in basic research are critical to ensure that the American Dream remains within reach of future generations.”

“There is a deficit between what America is investing and what it should be investing to remain competitive, not only in research but in innovation and job creation,” according to the “Restoring the Foundation” report. The United States is failing to keep pace with competitor nations with regard to investments in basic research and development. America’s ascendency in the 20th century was due in large part to its investments in science and engineering research. Basic research is behind every new product brought to market, every new medical device or drug, every new defense and space technology and many innovative business practices. 

Over the last two decades, a steady decline in investment in research and development (R&D) in the United States has allowed our nation to fall to 10th place in R&D investment among Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development nations as a percentage of gross domestic product. At this pace, China will surpass the United States in R&D investment in about eight years.

These developments led a diverse coalition of those concerned with the future of research in America to join together in presenting the “Innovation Imperative” to federal policymakers and urging them to take action to:

•           End sequestration’s deep cuts to federal investments in R&D

•           Make permanent a strengthened federal R&D tax credit

•           Improve student achievement in science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM)

•           Reform U.S. visa policy

•           Streamline or eliminate costly and inefficient regulations

•           Reaffirm merit-based peer review

•           Stimulate further improvements in advanced manufacturing

“If our nation’s political leaders heed this call and support fundamental research, it will benefit our students, our communities, our state and future generations,” said Sewell.

Read the “Innovation Imperative” statement and see the list of signatories at