In a recent speech before the members of the National Academy of Sciences, U.S. President Barack Obama said the United States should invest 3 percent or more of its annual gross domestic product (GDP) in basic and applied scientific research funding. A 3 percent investment would represent the largest investment in U.S. history, an even larger share of the GDP than the U.S. invested during the space race of the 1950s and 1960s.
Obama said the pursuit of discovery a half century ago fuelled the U.S.’s prosperity and success, and that this new commitment will fuel the nation’s success for another 50 years. Obama presented a wish list for the future, including educational software as effective as personal tutors, advanced prosthetics that could enable users to play the piano, and an expansion of the frontiers of human knowledge.
Source: Computing Research Association
The following chart shows that currently Australia figures poorly about 14th in an OECD rank. We just do not invest enough in R&D and we let others do that heavy lifting. This low investment has created a culture of ‘diggers’… specifically ground diggers. We are mainly people who are good at digging the ground for minerals and agriculture. We have such a limited R&D investment that our non digging industries play catch up to the rest of the world. I just hope we never run out of minerals and ground to dig.