Social Media Sidebar


Please sign up, comment on articles and bring your friends!

Current poll

PlanetTech is asking:

What do you think about our new web site?

Love it, indeed
Really good solution
Same as old one
The old one was better
This is a new option

Quote of the day

Just because something doesn’t do what you planned it to do doesn’t mean it’s useless.


Thomas Edison

Innovation War Means Using SpaceX Approach for 20X R&D Productivity

Posted in Science on 22nd Nov, 2018 08:34 PM by Alex Muller

The U.S. government now spends just 0.7% of Gross Domestic Product on research and development, much of which funds the previous administration’s pet projects in alternative energy. Under Reagan, the US spent 1.2% of GDP on federal R&D.


Today only 8% of American college degrees awarded are in engineering, vs. 31% in China. America cannot break out of its long secular stagnation and productivity slump if our high-tech industries continue to atrophy.


Spengler believes that China cannot innovate nearly as well as the United States.


Spengler Recommends

1. We need to tilt incentives to STEM education, just as the Eisenhower Administration did after Sputnik in 1957.
2. We need to focus resources on game-changing technologies (quantum computing, materials science, missile defense, anti-submarine warfare, semiconductor manufacturing, and others). We can complain all day about China subsidizing its industries but we can’t really stop it from happening. What we CAN do is target innovations that will ruin China’s massive investments in existing technologies.
3. We need to FORCE the whole supply chain for sensitive defense technologies onshore. That will cost plenty. But national security is like J.P. Morgan’s proverbial yacht: If you have to ask how much it costs, you can’t afford it.
4. We need to persuade the biggest corporations to restore their R&D capacity, by a combination of sticks and carrots. That may not be good for their stock price in the short term. But General Electric is a horrible example of what happens when “shareholder value” through financial engineering replaces fundamentals.


Any STEM education revival will take ten or more years to have a major impact. It would still be good but it is a long-term plan.


Restoring R&D corporate capacity is also a long-term strategy which may not work. Many companies have tried and failed to launch R&D centers.


Focusing on game-changing technologies requires investing in all of them or picking winners. China is competing in all of these areas. The US has a five to ten-year lead in semiconductor technology but other countries narrowed the semiconductor gap.


It is not certain that the US will win with quantum computing and materials science. It is also not clear any edge or dominance would translate into a broad lead in technology or innovation.


SpaceX has Shown Massive Research Productivity

The US has not provided enough support to SpaceX. SpaceX represents a massive leap forward in rockets to fully reusable rockets. It will also enable low-earth orbit satellites that can go beyond 5G communication. China is working to emulate SpaceX but the US has not thrown its full support into SpaceX.


SpaceX rocket development has gotten more return than 20X the research return than money spent on Boeing and Lockheed SLS rockets. A lead in space technology would be useful for broad lead in communications, sensors and military technology.


Constant Factory Re-invention

Elon Musk has also identified constant innovation and re-innovation of factories as a productivity goal. This has not been achieved but would be a superior approach to innovation. Instead of just trying to ratchet up R&D to a trillion dollars.


In 2016, Elon Musk floated the idea of remaking his factories every two years. The goal was to achieve ten times the productivity within ten years. Elon had to step back from that objective with production problems with the Tesla Model 3. However, a larger national research goal should be to constantly re-invent supply chains and factory productivity.


What really matters to accelerate a sustainable future is being able to scale up production volume as quickly as possible. Elon wanted to transition to focus heavily on designing the machine that makes the machine — turning the factory itself into a product. A ten-fold improvement in efficiency is possible.


Develop the Best NASA NIAC Innovations – Advanced lithium-ion drive, Antimatter and Fusion

There are breakthrough innovations in space from NASA NIAC. The leading edge of research should have strategic development funding.


JPL (Jet Propulsion Lab) will be testing a 50000 ISP lithium ion thruster within 4 months. This is part of a NASA NIAC phase 2 study to use lasers to beam 10 megawatts of power to new ion drives. This could enable space travel all over the solar system at over 1 million mph.


There is also development of a new approach to antimatter propulsion. 

Tags: innovationUSAchinaBusinesstechnology

Read original article » Back to category



Recent headlines

  • Posted in Medicine on 2019-02-17 11:59:30
    Search to uncover genetic secrets of more
    Posted in Science on 2019-02-17 11:47:23
    Advancing personalized medicine research with open more
    Posted in Medicine on 2019-02-17 11:42:49
    New drug target to control onset of more
    Posted in Hardware on 2019-01-19 15:00:04
    SpaceX Orbital Starship Prototype Built By June 2019 more
    Posted in Hardware on 2019-01-19 14:18:47
    Apple and Samsung Hardest Hit as Smartphone more
Posted in Business on 2013-10-10 01:33
China is working towards a manned lunar mission in more
Posted in Business on 2013-10-20 07:17
Spacex says China is their main competitor for more
Posted in Software on 2013-10-20 06:43
Pirate Bay Browser Clocks 1,000,000 more
Posted in Medicine on 2013-10-10 02:10
Google reportedly investing hundreds of millions into more
Posted in Medicine on 2013-10-14 03:13
Endothelial Cells Can Repair and Regenerate Organs, more
Posted in Science on 01.01.2010
Spacex says China is their main competitor for more
Posted in Science on 01.01.2010
Staring at Your Phone Could Be Making You Short more
Posted in Science on 01.01.2010
Oculus Rift virtual reality headset coming to mobile, more
Posted in Science on 01.01.2010
China is working towards a manned lunar mission in more
Posted in Science on 01.01.2010
Delivering drugs via nanoparticles to target more

Recent Blog Posts

  • Posted by AlexMuller
    Even light drinking increases risk of more
    Posted by AlexMuller
    Researchers have discovered how to slow more
    Posted by AlexMuller
    Human retinas grown in a dish explain how color vision more
    Posted by AlexMuller
    The smartphone app that can tell you’re depressed before more
    Posted by AlexMuller
    Neural networks don’t understand what optical illusions more

Login to your Account

Login to your PlanetTech Account here

Remember me

Create a New Account

You just need username and password

The following errors occured:
Verify password:
Remember me