Introduction Competition to lead the Fourth Industrial Revolution is fi erce. Governments and fi rms across the globe are engaging in legitimate—and illegitimate—acts to get a foothold in a particular technology, to pioneer commercial application, and to gain share in new markets. Advanced economies, which for many decades have pushed the boundaries of technological development, are now joined by China and other emerging countries. 1 A global technology race has begun that will likely shape U.S. economic and national security well into the 21st century. Perhaps whether this race will be a competition, confl ict, or war is open to debate. What is not open to debate is the importance of getting it right. To signify the urgency of the situation we face, I have chosen to depict it as a tech war. Just as the last seventy-fi ve years have been shaped by the research and development enterprise the United States built following World War II and many of the nations of the world have since sought to emulate, so too will our future be shaped by how we respond to our current situation. This tech war has become a whole-of-society endeavor where nation-states and societies, as well as corporations, technology developers, and even indi- viduals fi nd themselves on the front lines with ever-increasing frequency. How we respond will affect our standing as a nation and shape and defi ne all our elements of national power. The book concludes by asserting that the United States is not prepared for this tech war and making recommendations for change. Absent fundamental changes, our current U.S. science and technology (S&T) advantages will continue to erode. In pressing this argument, the book demonstrates through historical precedents and by examining poten- tial alternative futures that changes in the global research and development (R&D) ecosystem and U.S. national R&D enterprise necessitate policy,
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