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The New Jersey Life Sciences Vendors Alliance (NJLSVA) is a coalition of businesses, individuals and academia who provide goods and services to New Jersey’s life sciences companies.

The NJLSVA was founded to educate suppliers on trends in industry procurement and public policy that affects the life sciences industry.

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Report Warns U.S. Predominance in Science and Technology Faces Asian Challenge

Washington, DC, February 14, 2013 — According to The New York Times, the United States’ predominance in science and technology is fading, a report released this month by the National Science Board warns. 

The report underscores what a powerhouse the U.S. remains in knowledge- and technology-intensive industries, including high-tech manufacturing, energy and pharmaceuticals.  All in all, those industries account for about 40 percent of American economic output, more than in any other developed country, it finds.

But with the rise of increasingly competitive emerging economies, the report suggests, underinvestment in research and development — in part because of federal cutbacks — might translate into a less dominant, less productive American economy in the future.

The world is undergoing a “dramatic shift in the global scientific landscape,” said Dan E. Arvizu, the chief executive of the National Renewable Energy Laboratory and the chairman of the National Science Board.

“Emerging economies understand the role science and innovation play in the global marketplace and in economic competitiveness and have increasingly placed a priority on building their capacity in science and technology,” Arvizu said.

The biennial report from the National Science Board — which governs the federally funded National Science Foundation and advises the White House and Congress — shows the heady rise of newly industrializing nations in Asia more than it does stagnation or decline in the United States.

The New York Times also reported that the U.S. remains the single biggest investor in research and development, spending about $429 billion a year, compared to $208 billion for China and $147 billion for Japan.

But the share of annual global research spending in the U.S. has declined sharply, to 30 percent in 2011 from 37 percent a decade before.  For Europe, the decline was to 22 percent from 26 percent.

More worryingly, the report finds that the U.S. might be lagging in the research and development spending that scientists say is the most important fuel for future innovation.

Moreover, many countries spend larger and faster-growing proportions of their economic output on research.

The report found that U.S. research took a hit from the recession, with businesses cutting back sharply during the downturn, though the federal government’s stimulus did buffer the effects.

But it did not analyze the effects of the sharp, long-term budget cuts known as “sequestration.” Congress eased some of those budget cuts in a recent bipartisan deal.

But uncertainty and concern about cutbacks remain for the National Institutes of Health and other major research facilities.  That has led to widespread worries about brain drain from industries that rely heavily on federal funding, especially biomedical research.

To read the complete New York Times story, click here.