科技: 人物 企业 技术 IT业 TMT
科普: 自然 科学 科幻 宇宙 科学家
通信: 历史 技术 手机 词典 3G馆
索引: 分类 推荐 专题 热点 排行榜
互联网: 广告 营销 政务 游戏 google
新媒体: 社交 博客 学者 人物 传播学
新思想: 网站 新书 新知 新词 思想家
图书馆: 文化 商业 管理 经济 期刊
网络文化: 社会 红人 黑客 治理 亚文化
创业百科: VC 词典 指南 案例 创业史
前沿科技: 清洁 绿色 纳米 生物 环保
知识产权: 盗版 共享 学人 法规 著作
用户名: 密码: 注册 忘记密码?
    创建新词条
科技百科
  • 人气指数: 17057 次
  • 编辑次数: 4 次 历史版本
  • 更新时间: 2011-05-05
方兴东
方兴东
发短消息
蓝色森林
蓝色森林
发短消息
相关词条
MIT人工智能实验室
MIT人工智能实验室
MIT媒体实验室
MIT媒体实验室
飞思卡尔技术论坛
飞思卡尔技术论坛
美国国家技术奖
美国国家技术奖
美国消费电子协会
美国消费电子协会
寻找贝尔实验室
寻找贝尔实验室
Demo展
Demo展
中美互联网对话机制
中美互联网对话机制
计算机人性化界面会展
计算机人性化界面会展
IEEE—CS
IEEE—CS
推荐词条
希拉里二度竞选
希拉里二度竞选
《互联网百科系列》
《互联网百科系列》
《黑客百科》
《黑客百科》
《网络舆情百科》
《网络舆情百科》
《网络治理百科》
《网络治理百科》
《硅谷百科》
《硅谷百科》
2017年特斯拉
2017年特斯拉
MIT黑客全纪录
MIT黑客全纪录
桑达尔·皮查伊
桑达尔·皮查伊
阿里双十一成交额
阿里双十一成交额
最新词条

热门标签

微博侠 数字营销2011年度总结 政务微博元年 2011微博十大事件 美国十大创业孵化器 盘点美国导师型创业孵化器 盘点导师型创业孵化器 TechStars 智能电视大战前夜 竞争型国企 公益型国企 2011央视经济年度人物 Rhianna Pratchett 莱恩娜·普莱契 Zynga与Facebook关系 Zynga盈利危机 2010年手机社交游戏行业分析报告 游戏奖励 主流手机游戏公司运营表现 主流手机游戏公司运营对比数据 创建游戏原型 正反馈现象 易用性设计增强游戏体验 易用性设计 《The Sims Social》社交亮 心理生理学与游戏 Kixeye Storm8 Storm8公司 女性玩家营销策略 休闲游戏的创新性 游戏运营的数据分析 社交游戏分析学常见术语 游戏运营数据解析 iPad风行美国校园 iPad终结传统教科书 游戏平衡性 成长类型及情感元素 鸿蒙国际 云骗钱 2011年政务微博报告 《2011年政务微博报告》 方正产业图谱 方正改制考 通信企业属公益型国企 善用玩家作弊行为 手机游戏传播 每用户平均收入 ARPU值 ARPU 游戏授权三面观 游戏设计所运用的化学原理 iOS应用人性化界面设计原则 硬核游戏 硬核社交游戏 生物测量法研究玩家 全球移动用户 用户研究三部曲 Tagged转型故事 Tagged Instagram火爆的3大原因 全球第四大社交网络Badoo Badoo 2011年最迅猛的20大创业公司 病毒式传播功能支持的游戏设计 病毒式传播功能 美国社交游戏虚拟商品收益 Flipboard改变阅读 盘点10大最难iPhone游戏 移动应用设计7大主流趋势 成功的设计文件十个要点 游戏设计文件 应用内置付费功能 内置付费功能 IAP功能 IAP IAP模式 游戏易用性测试 生理心理游戏评估 游戏化游戏 全美社交游戏规模 美国社交游戏市场 全球平板电脑出货量 Facebook虚拟商品收益 Facebook全球广告营收 Facebook广告营收 失败游戏设计的数宗罪名 休闲游戏设计要点 玩游戏可提高认知能力 玩游戏与认知能力 全球游戏广告 独立开发者提高工作效率的100个要点 Facebook亚洲用户 免费游戏的10种创收模式 人类大脑可下载 2012年最值得期待的20位硅谷企业家 做空中概股的幕后黑手 做空中概股幕后黑手 苹果2013营收 Playfish社交游戏架构

寻找贝尔实验室 发表评论(0) 编辑词条

寻找贝尔实验室

目录

贝尔实验室你去哪里了?(编辑本段回目录

编译:guming3d 

简介

经济危机美国原有的许多著名的科学研究机构的研究经费大幅缩水,作者通过分析呼吁美国重新重视基础研究,文章对科学基础研究的重要性进行了深入的分析。由于文章较长,将分为三个部分翻译。

基础研究如何才能挽救被破坏的美国商业模型 (Part I)

作者 Adrian Slywotzky

能否想出一个产业能在未来的三年能够新增加一百万个高收入的就业机会。估计很难,因为现在更本就不存在这样的饿产业。这个现在已经成为美国的一个大问题。

美国很快就需要好的就业岗位。我们需要670万个就业岗位来填补由于当前经济衰退造成的工作机会损失,然后还需要大概一千万个岗位来满足下一个十年的新增需求。总共加起来是1500万到1700万个岗位。在上世纪九十年代,美国曾经经济创造了2200万个岗位的净增长(平均每年增长220万)。但是从2000年到2007年(衰退开始的年份),经济增长每年仅仅创造了90万新就业。新增就业的输水管道正在干涸,原因就是美国原有的商业模型已经被破坏。我们经济增长的引擎已经失去了关键的燃油的输入,而这个燃油就是基础科学研究。

美国科技创新机构历来是由政府和私人公司之间进行松散的合作,这些机构包括传奇性的贝尔实验室,RCA实验室,施乐公司帕洛阿尔托研究中心,IBM 研究部门,DARPA, 美国宇航局以及其他一些机构。在这些研究机构中,具有潜在商业价值的项目和一些纯粹的研究性质的项目共同开展着,这两种类型的项目经常可以相互补充。这些研究机构由于有充足的企业资金以及风险投资的支持已经为科学,技术以及经济作出了巨大的贡献,并且创造了上百万个高薪职位。在这里仅仅摘选了几个贝尔实验室的成果:

首次在公共展示传真技术(1925年)
首次实现远程的电视信号传输(1927年)
发明晶体管(1947年)
 发明光伏电池(1954年)
发明UNIX操作系统(1969年)
发明蜂窝电话技术(1978年)
研究经费不断的缩减

 当这些发明出现之后几十年内诞生了众多充满活力的行业和公司。光是晶体管这一项发明就奠定了现代计算机产业和消费电子产业。同样的,DARPA发明的因特网(当时叫做阿帕网)以及帕洛阿尔托研究中心开发的以太网和图形用户界面创造出了变革性的计算机和网络产业。基础研究的突破引发随后的应用创新周期,创造全新的经济部门。

 但自90年代以来,致力于单纯追求科学发现的研究实验室所得到的研究资金在缓慢下降,因此他们不得不从开放的研究目标转向解决短期商业目标的问题,从单纯的科学研究转向了应用研究。贝尔实验室在2001年有30,000名员工而到了今天(为阿尔卡特朗讯所有)只剩下1000人。这象征着美国商业模式已经出现链接断裂的症状。由于上游基础研究创新和发现不断干涸,下游产业创造的创新正在减少到几乎为零。

人们很容易将当前工作机会的流失归结于经济衰退和外包。虽说这两者确实导致了工作的流失,但是这两者都不是导致工作流失的最根本的原因, 其实根源是我们没有创造出新的高质量的工作机会。我们正处在从1981年以来的第四次衰退。工作外包已经开展了几十年了,但是每次我们都能依靠新兴工业一鸣惊人并获得经济增长的反弹。探索推动创新,创新驱动更高的生产力,更高的生产力驱动经济增长。不过这次情况和前几次并不一样,当这次的衰退在未来某一天结束之后,美国的经济并不会像我们期待中那样创造出和以前一样多的工作机会。

 创造就业所面临的巨大挑战

在过去,当美国将数以百万的高薪职位输出到低工资国家后,我们能够在新的产业创造出更多的高薪职位,这些新兴产业的成立的起因可以追溯到几十年前的科学研究。个人电脑,因特网以及无线通讯产业,这些八九十年代出现的产业创造出的就业机会弥补了消费电子,钢铁这些制造业高工资职位的流失,并将经济增长模式从制造业驱动转化成知识性驱动。但是最近几年,软件和制造业的就业岗位减少却主要被低工资的快餐和零售这些服务性行业取代。金融业一直被认为是一个就业市场不断扩大的产业,但是最近的金融危机已经证明金融业的增长是不稳定的。实际上,我们已经停止创造出高薪的工作机会。

我们决不能低估创造就业机会的挑战有多么的艰巨。外包和经济的萧条并不是减少工作机会的唯一因素。此外持续不断的附加值的迁移(从旧商业模式到新商业模式的转移)将是重新塑造商业模式的主要力量并将导致在下一个十年继续减少相当多的工作机会。(让我们想想你所知道的老的商业模式,从报纸,印刷到固定电话到当前脆弱的个人电脑行业)

由于我们并没有为流失的工作机会提供可替代的职位,美国的需求引擎已经损坏。现在美国总共大概有一亿三千万个工作职位,其中只有20%(两千六百万)的薪水高于一年六万美元。其他80%的薪水平均在三万三千美元一年。这个比例无法构成一个强大的中产阶层以及繁荣的社会。这个引擎无法产生出更多的需求,相反它正在经历一个衰退的曲线。全国范围内,由于收入的降低直接导致很多家庭都接受了夫妻双方都需要工作的状况,而且每家都负担着高额的贷款以应对金融泡沫导致的货币的通货膨胀(网络泡沫和房价泡沫)。最近几年,个人贷款的增速大大超过个人收入的增速。在1985年的时候家庭贷款额大概占家庭收入的70%;到2000年,这个比例是100%,而到了2008年,这个比例竟然高达170%。我们赚的更少了,所以我们借的更多。2007年,我们到达了极限。

这个恶性循环看起来有愈演愈烈之势。从九十年代到现在的二十世纪初的美国科学和工程研究规模的大量缩减也许只是个开始。除非这个趋势有所扭转,否则很有可能最坏的影响将在未来的十年后出现,到时候我们也许会发现由于失去了前期的探索研究,商业受到了极大的打击。现在就应该行动起来,而解决这个问题的根源,那就是重新建立研究实验室。

好消息是重新点燃创新引擎是可行的,并不需要巨大的投资。而且这个投资的回报率非常高,研究成果将成为为很多公司甚至整个产业的基础。在风险投资和初期的商业模式公开招股部分仍然存在,我们只需要重建上游基础研究的重点实验室,为整个生态系统的创新提供源泉。

科学是有趣的也是有相当大的风险的。科学研究需要上百个具有高智商高学历的人才一起努力,并且需要这些人才具备难以置信的好奇心以及良好职业道德和忍耐力。同时科学研究还需要以下这些临界物质,良好的实验室支持,合适的设备和仪器,同级评审等等。除此之外科学研究还需要同事之间公开的沟通,以及其他微妙但重要的文化因素。科学研究需要能够允许风险以及失败。需要有愿望能够横向的思考并运用创新思维(很多重大的突破都是源于其他的科学研究课题)。科学研究所需要的文化能够吸引鼓励而且能够奖励最优秀的人才。

(未完待续)

Where Have You Gone, Bell Labs?编辑本段回目录

How basic research can repair the broken U.S. business model
By Adrian Slywotzky

Name an industry that can produce 1 million new, high-paying jobs over the next three years. You can't, because there isn't one. And that's the problem.

America needs good jobs, soon. We need 6.7 million just to replace losses from the current recession, then another 10 million to spark demand over the next decade. That's 15 million to 17 million new jobs. In the 1990s, the U.S. economy created a net 22 million jobs (a rate of 2.2 million per year), so we know it can be done. Between 2000 and the end of 2007 (the beginning of the current recession), however, the economy created new jobs at a rate of 900,000 a year, so we know it isn't doing it now. The pipeline is dry because the U.S. business model is broken. Our growth engine has run out of a key source of fuel—critical mass, basic scientific research.

The U.S. scientific innovation infrastructure has historically consisted of a loose public-private partnership that included legendary institutions such as Bell Labs, RCA Labs, Xerox PARC XRX, the research operations of IBM IBM, DARPA, NASA, and others. In each of these organizations, programs with clear commercial potential were supported alongside efforts at "pure" research, with the two streams often feeding one another. With abundant corporate and venture-capital funding for eventual commercialization, these research labs have made enormous contributions to science, technology, and the economy, including the creation of millions of high-paying jobs. Consider a few of the crown jewels from Bell Labs alone:
• The first public demonstration of fax transmission (1925)
• First long-distance TV transmission (1927)
• Invention of the transistor (1947)
• Invention of photovoltaic cell (1954)
• Creation of the UNIX operating system (1969)
• Technology for cellular telephony (1978)

Decline in Lab Funding
In the decades after these initial discoveries, vibrant industries and companies were born. The transistor alone is the building block for the modern computer and consumer-electronics industries. Likewise, DARPA's creation of the Internet (as ARPAnet) in 1969 and Xerox PARC's development of the Ethernet and the graphic user interface (GUI) further developed the transformative computer and Internet industries. The basic research breakthroughs unleashed subsequent cycles of applied innovation that created entirely new sectors of our economy.

But since the 1990s, labs dedicated to pure research—to the pursuit of scientific discovery—have seen funding slowly decline and their mission shift from open-ended problem solving to short-term commercial targets, from pure discovery to applied research. Bell Labs had 30,000 employees as recently as 2001; today (owned by Alcatel-Lucent ALU) it has 1,000. That's symbolic and symptomatic of the broken link in the U.S. business model. With upstream invention and discovery drying up, downstream, industry-creating innovation is being reduced to a trickle.

It's easy to ascribe current job losses in the U.S. to the deep recession or outsourcing. Both are to blame, but neither is at the root of the larger problem, which is lack of new, high-quality job creation. We are in the throes of the fourth recession since 1981. We have been outsourcing jobs for decades, but we have always bounced back with a new industry—a blockbuster industry. Discovery drives innovation, innovation drives productivity, productivity drives economic growth. But this time it's different, and whenever the current recession mercifully ends, the U.S. economy will not respond with the same job-creating vigor we have come to expect.

Job Creation a Huge Challenge
In the past, when the U.S. exported millions of high-paying jobs to low-wage countries, we replaced them with an even greater number of high-paying jobs in industries whose inception could be traced back to science done decades earlier. The PC, Internet, and cellular industries, born in the 1980s and 1990s, more than offset the loss of high-paying jobs in manufacturing industries like consumer electronics, steel, and others as the economy shifted from a manufacturing to a knowledge base. But in recent years, the software and manufacturing jobs lost have been largely replaced by millions of low-wage jobs in fast-food and retail or other service businesses. Finance has been a source of ongoing job growth, but recent events have proven that growth to be unsustainable. We've stopped creating new high-paying jobs.


We should not underestimate the magnitude of the job creation challenge. Outsourcing and extended recessions are not the only job destroyers in our system. There is also the constant pressure of value migration (the flow of value from old business models to new), which continues to be the major force reshaping our economy and will eliminate a large number of jobs in the next decade. (Think of all the old business models you know, from newspapers, to printing, to landline telephony, to the mighty, but now vulnerable, PC).

As a consequence of exporting good jobs that are not fully replaced, the U.S. demand engine is broken. Of the roughly 130 million jobs in the U.S., only 20% (26 million) pay more than $60,000 a year. The other 80% pay an average of $33,000. That ratio is not a good foundation for a strong middle class and a prosperous society. Rather than a demand engine, it's a decay curve. As a nation, we have papered over our declining incomes by accepting the need for two incomes per household and by borrowing heavily, often against paper assets inflated by financial bubbles (dot-com and housing). In recent years, personal debt has grown much faster than personal income. In 1985 the ratio of household debt to household income was 0.7 to 1; in 2000 it was 1 to 1; in 2008, it was 1.7 to 1. We earned less, so we borrowed more. In 2007 we reached our limit.

This cycle looks only to be getting worse. The effects of the massive scaling back of American science and engineering research in the 1990s and 2000s may just be beginning. Unless reversed, it is likely to have its greatest impact a decade from now, when the missing discoveries of a generation earlier would have been expected to come to commercial fruition. It's time to identify—and fix—the root of the problem.

Rebuild Research Labs
The good news is that restarting the innovation engine is quite doable and doesn't require a massive investment relative to other spending. The return on investment is very high, especially if you consider the return across the companies and entire industries that are built on the foundation of the initial discoveries. The venture-capital and initial public offering components of the business model are still in place; we just have to rebuild the upstream labs that focused on basic research, the headwaters for the whole innovation ecosystem.

Science is funny. It's a crapshoot. It takes hundreds of people with high IQs, PhDs, and an incredible curiosity, work ethic, and persistence. It also takes critical mass, lab support, the right equipment and instrumentation, peer review, etc. It takes open communication among peers, and other subtle but critical cultural factors. It takes a tolerance for risk. A tolerance for failure. A willingness to think and apply innovation laterally (many of the big breakthroughs were originally aimed at other targets). It takes a culture that attracts, encourages, and rewards the best minds.

The innovation path emerging from success is equally unpredictable. In many cases, the economic payoff is a decade away. Sometimes a decade and a half. And the success can lead in unexpected directions. Who in 1975 could have predicted how the PC would evolve, how it created networking, and giants like Cisco (CSCO), which enabled the entire online sector and already two generations of blockbuster businesses (from Amazon AMZN and eBay EBAY to Google GOOG and Facebook). Who in 1980 would have envisioned that the work at Bell Labs on novel cellular communications technology would lead to the global mobile revolution that is reaching into the most rural and remote corners of the world, creating millions of jobs and raising productivity and incomes?


Many of the classic scientific research labs, such as Bell Labs and RCA Labs (now Sarnoff Corp.), were started and funded by companies with virtual monopolies and very strong, predictable cash flows. They were able to embrace the uncertainty and serendipity of pure research in the context of their business. But such companies don't exist today. With the increasing focus on shareholder value that began in the 1990s as global competition heated up, Fortune 500 companies could no longer justify open-ended research that might not directly impact their bottom line. Today, corporate research is almost exclusively engineering R&D, tending more toward applied research with a 3- to 5-year time horizon (or shorter). IBM, Microsoft MSFT, and Hewlett-Packard HPQ, for example, collectively spend $17 billion a year on R&D but only 3% to 5% of that is for basic science.

Basic Science Gives Way to Fast Payoffs
Consider what has been lost. The diminution of Bell Labs—the crown jewel of the innovation ecosystem—is most jarring. Bell Labs was founded in 1925 as a joint venture of AT&T T and Western Electric (AT&T's manufacturing arm) to develop equipment for the Bell System phone companies. Bell Labs scientists have won six Nobel prizes in physics. However, starting in 2001, funding and staffing at Bell Labs was drastically reduced due to budget cuts. In 2008, parent Alcatel-Lucent announced it would be pulling out of its last remaining areas of basic science—material physics and semiconductor research—to focus on projects that promise more immediate payoffs. The legendary Bell Labs, an engine of scientific discovery and industry creation for more than 80 years, is essentially gone.

A similar fate has befallen Sarnoff Corp. Born as RCA Labs in 1942 to support the war effort, it developed technologies such as improved radar antennas, radar-jamming antennas, and acoustical depth charges for maritime warfare. In the 1950s and 1960s, RCA Labs produced breakthroughs in numerous broadcasting and related fields, including color TV, tape recording, transistors, lasers, advanced vacuum tubes, solar cells, and infrared imaging. At its peak in the 1970s, RCA was generating more patents than rival Bell Labs. In 1986, RCA was purchased by General Electric GE, which spun off Sarnoff Lab as Sarnoff Corp., a wholly owned subsidiary of SRI International. Sarnoff is now a shadow of its former self, developing smaller technologies with a commercial focus on a drastically reduced budget.

If the 1950s and 1960s belonged to Bell Labs and RCA, the 1970s and 1980s belonged to Xerox PARC (Palo Alto Research Corp.) and DARPA. PARC was the legendary Silicon Valley spawning ground of the Ethernet, movable real-time computer text, and graphical user interfaces. Companies such as Apple AAPL, Microsoft, and Adobe ADBE have built global businesses that have created hundreds of thousands of high-paying jobs, based in large measure on PARC's breakthroughs. Xerox missed most of these opportunities, but has created a multibillion laser-printing business based on work done at PARC. But PARC's research staff has shrunk drastically as Xerox's performance has forced dramatic budget cuts.

The Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA), originally launched in 1958 as a response to the Soviet launch of Sputnik, is responsible for the Internet and numerous technologies with applications beyond the military. Threatened by Soviet technological advances, the Eisenhower Administration formed DARPA to ensure that American expertise in science and engineering would lead the world. The result: breakthroughs in time-sharing computers, computer graphics, microprocessors, very large-scale integration (VSLI) design, RISC processing, parallel computing, local area networks, and the Internet. DARPA progeny include Amazon, eBay, Yahoo YHOO, Google, Facebook, YouTube (GOOG), and hundreds of other companies that might never have come to life without DARPA's open-ended research that led to the Internet.

How to Reignite Innovation
In a post-September 11 world, DARPA's mission has shifted from science to tactical projects with short-term military applications, but it's not clear that shifting to a short-term applied approach will be as effective for the military as open-ended research. As military historian John Chambers has noted, none of the most important weapons transforming warfare in the 20th century—the airplane, tank, radar, jet engine, helicopter, electronic computer, not even the atomic bomb—owed its initial development to a doctrinal requirement or request of the military. Indeed, without DARPA's breakthroughs in information technology, military tools such as unmanned systems (drones) and global positioning systems would never have been possible.

For any institution—whether an individual company or government agency—cutting back on investment in basic science research may make great sense in the short term. Economic realities and shifting agendas force trade-offs. For a time, you can free-ride off the investments of others. But when everybody makes the same decision society suffers the "tragedy of the commons"—wherein multiple actors operating in their self interest do harm to the overall public good. We've reached that point. We're just beginning to see the consequences. We need to reverse the cycle, and we need to do it quickly.


As we consider reigniting the innovation engine, there are precedents that we can examine to show how the process of innovation can be speeded up. Given the current crisis and the urgency of generating high-paying jobs on a large scale, reducing the time lag between research and commercialization will be critical.

While the timeline for translating research efforts to tangible outcomes is typically 15 years or longer, that cycle can be accelerated. We've done it twice: First, the Manhattan Project, which responded to intelligence reports of Nazi research and created the atomic bomb in six years; and second, the Apollo Program, which landed a man on the moon eight years after President John F. Kennedy responded to Russian cosmonaut Yuri Gagarin's successful space flight. These examples provide a useful template we can to consider in responding to today's crisis.

Strong Leadership is Key
Spurred in part by a letter from Albert Einstein, President Franklin D. Roosevelt authorized a military program to explore the development of an atomic weapon as early as 1939. But despite a handful of scientific breakthroughs, including the discovery of plutonium at the University of California, Berkeley in 1941, the project languished for three years under lackluster leadership. In 1942, with the war in Europe going badly, theoretical physicist J. Robert Oppenheimer convened a meeting of leading atomic scientists at Berkeley, where the experts debated the conceptual options—fission vs. fusion, uranium vs. plutonium, and various ways to organize the fissile material—and reached a broad consensus about the design for the bomb.

Shortly thereafter, President Roosevelt named a new leader for the project, General Leslie Groves of the U.S. Army Corp of Engineers, who had just overseen the rapid construction of the Pentagon. Groves ordered the purchase of 1,250 tons of high-quality Belgian Congo uranium ore to be stored on Staten Island, N.Y., purchased 52,000 acres of land in Tennessee to be the future site of Oak Ridge National Laboratories, and named Oppenheimer the project's director. Based on the Corps' tradition of naming projects after the headquarters' city, Groves named the effort the Manhattan Project.

With as many as 130,000 employees (including thousands of brilliant engineers and physicists), the project conducted research at more than 30 sites in three countries (including Canada and Britain) and spent close to $2 billion (equivalent to $24 billion today). By mid-1945, six years after Roosevelt first laid down a marker and less than three years after Groves took over, two atomic bombs were constructed and used at Hiroshima and Nagasaki to force Japan's surrender and the end of the war.

No comparable scientific project of similar scale and urgency was pursued in the U.S. until the Apollo Program of the 1960s. When President Kennedy vowed in 1961 to land an astronaut on the moon and return him to earth "within the decade," only one American (Alan Shepard) had traveled into space. The difficulties were daunting, but the number and variety of technical innovations developed for the moon mission were remarkable. To power the instruments and computer on board the spacecraft, the world's first fuel cells were invented. To fabricate the structural components of the spacecraft with sufficient precision, computer-controlled machining was conceived and implemented for the first time. Insulation barriers to protect delicate instruments from radiation, "cool suits" to keep astronauts safe during space walks, water purification systems, freeze-drying of foods, innovations in integrated-circuit design and robotics, and digital image processing (later incorporated into computer-aided tomography (CAT) and magnetic resonance imaging (MRI)) all were technologies developed by NASA during the Apollo Program.

Presidential Support Crucial
Neil Armstrong landed on the moon on July 20, 1969, just a little more than eight years after President Kennedy's speech. Five more Apollo missions landed on the moon, the only occasions on which human beings have set foot on another heavenly body. The cost: $25 billion (about $135 billion in today's money), the largest commitment of resources ever made by a nation during peacetime. At its peak, the Apollo Program employed 400,000 people. And they accomplished the impossible.

Both Manhattan and Apollo delivered on their primary objectives. Both also created substantial new scientific discoveries that fueled new innovations across many other domains. Their success can be mapped to five crucial success factors: 1) full and sustained Presidential support; 2) effective leadership with a clearly defined mandate; 3) access to resources; 4) parallel paths/processing to save time; and 5) private sector outsourcing. Distilled, that means leadership, management, and money—not rocket science.

The Manhattan and Apollo programs offer important lessons as the U.S. government confronts huge social and economic challenges—energy, health care, infrastructure, transportation, communications, water supply, and climate change. Perhaps the most important lesson is the simplest one—it can be done—and the most difficult task may be singling out one or two challenges on which to focus. But when the will, resources, and energy are harnessed, human ingenuity is capable of converting mind-numbing challenges into mind-boggling achievements.

Today's challenges require the government to unleash a series of highly focused, aggressively managed projects supported by a growing research investment in a dozen or more leading companies that in the aggregate reproduce the cumulative impact of Bell Labs, RCA Labs, Xerox PARC, and others. In essence, this approach combines reliance on the broad ecosystem of industrial and national labs with the accelerated urgency of the two major national programs. Congress and the Obama Administration have begun the dialogue on energy and health care, which is encouraging, although we're far from consensus on an approach.

Critical Mass of Labs Needed
But repairing the missing link in the innovation infrastructure cannot be solved by government alone; corporate labs, collaborating with universities, are needed to shorten the path between discovery and commercialization. The alliance between DuPont DD and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology exemplifies this model: Funded by $60 million since 2000 to study biotechnology, biomaterials, and catalysis, the alliance is now expanding beyond bio-based science to include nanocomposites, nanoelectronic materials, alternative energy technologies, and next-generation safety and protection materials. Such an arrangement enables the corporation to leverage the intellectual capital of top universities. Conversely, the university's connection to real-world needs provides a quicker path to market testing and commercialization.

Collaboration is necessary, but the real key is achieving critical mass, in essence replacing Bell Labs' force of 30,000, and then some. Science has lost its allure as the domain for our best and brightest. Much of the best technical talent has been drawn to the promise of riches from Wall Street and financial engineering. We need to reestablish a culture that rewards and celebrates the scientist who is willing to work on tough problems even if the commercial return is less certain. Given that the U.S. economy is so much bigger than it was 40 years ago, and so much less competitive internationally, 10 or more equivalent corporate research labs are needed for critical mass. The most likely candidates are the top research corporations today—IBM, Hewlett Packard, Cisco, Google, Exxon Mobil XOM, DuPont, Microsoft, Apple, 3M MMM, General Electric, Boeing BA, and others. Many of these companies already have hundreds of PhD researchers and scientists on staff, and while their labs mostly focus on shorter-term development goals, they still retain the spirit of scientific pursuit.

Even in an era of budget constraints, it's important to recognize that money is not the central problem. True, many of the cutbacks in research have resulted from budget cuts, but the fact is that the will and the strategic commitment to basic research is the more difficult part of the equation. It may be counterintuitive to create this kind of long-term investment when we have so many pressing immediate needs both in the private sector (protecting jobs and profits) and the public sector (finding ways to pay for health care, spending to repair crumbling roads, paying teachers, unemployment benefits). But we need exactly this kind of approach if we are going to reverse the cycle.


Tax Incentives Could Help
Consider that the Bell Labs budget peaked at $1.6 billion in 1982 (about $3.6 billion in today's dollars), and $20 billion would fund, say, three large labs and five smaller ones. Split in some ratio between public and private sources, $20 billion is not a large number. As noted earlier, IBM, Microsoft, and HP already spend $17 billion annually on R&D. If leading companies committed 5% to 10% of those R&D budgets to pure research (up from 0% to 5% today), in exchange for a tax credit or a government match, a new innovation ecosystem would quickly begin to build critical mass. From the government's perspective, the money put toward innovation today is the highest-return investment it can make.

Just as a company's success is driven by blockbuster products, the exceptional economic growth of the U.S. has been driven by blockbuster industries—cars and petroleum in the 1920s, movies and radio in the 1930s, defense in the 1940s, appliances and television in the 1950s, pharmaceuticals in the 1960s, aerospace in the 1970s, PCs in the 1980s, the Internet and cellular telephony in the 1990s.

What's next? Biotech, genomics, and life sciences? Alternative energy and synthetic fuels? Preventive medicine and health-care delivery? Each can be the source of millions of high-value jobs. We need them. Soon.

The choice facing the country is to do nothing and risk the inevitable decline of innovation, which will weaken an already sputtering demand engine, or act boldly by reasserting its faith in scientific inquiry and discovery. That will give the U.S. a shot at holding or increasing market share of the highest-value jobs in the world in electronics, biotech, aerospace, energy, nanotechnology, and materials—and at creating 15 to 17 million high-paying new jobs over the next decade.

How to Get Back on Track
We can't do this as a series of half steps that are expensive but ineffectual, that don't reach critical mass or critical rate of change. This middle-road approach might well describe NASA over the past 30 years—not a good model.

The better model is the previous U.S. business model, with a dynamic public-private network of labs and a venture-capital industry waiting downstream to commercialize ideas and turn them into large public companies that create hundreds of thousands of new jobs. Here's what's needed to get that model back on track:
• Clear national goals in two or three key areas, such as carbon-free energy and preventive medicine.
• Government commitment of $10 billion a year above and beyond spending for national agencies to jump-start new industrial research labs
• Government tax credits for corporations that commit to spending 5% to 10% (or more) of R&D on basic research

Government can do a lot by, for example, refocusing DARPA on increasing energy security. But it cannot do it alone. A single page from our economic history, in 1946, might illuminate what needs to happen, and why.

A Lesson from RCA Labs
In 1943, Elmer Engstrom was put in charge of RCA Labs in Princeton, N.J. After the war, as he reflected on the task before him and his team, he came up with a few extraordinary observations. He talked about "the depletion of basic knowledge" resulting from the years of shifting resources away from basic science and towards war-related applications. He said that universities were great institutions, but "you couldn't count on them alone" to close the knowledge gap.

Engstrom believed that is was an obligation, a duty of the great industrial labs, to "rebuild the war-depleted inventory of basic scientific knowledge." He also believed, however, that "by doing work in this field [fundamental research] of a quality which will command the respect of scientific investigators in universities, we will stimulate work there which will, in effect, enlarge the scope of the work done within RCA Laboratories and thus bring about more rapid progress."

Although the causes are different, Engstrom could be providing a precise description and prescription for our situation today. He could be calling out from 1946 to our business leaders today, articulating a challenge and a solution. If only a dozen major companies respond to that challenge they can, in collaboration with the government, solve our jobs problem within a decade. If they don't…

Slywotzky, a partner at management consultants Oliver Wyman, has written several books on profitability and growth.

美国贝尔实验室走向“最低谷” 编辑本段回目录

随着职员接二连三离开,贝尔实验室最终离开了基础科学研究


图片说明:晶体管的发明是贝尔实验室获得了诺贝尔奖的贡献。
(图片来源:SCIENCE MUSEUM/SCIENCE & SOCIETY)
 
这里曾经诞生过6位诺贝尔奖获得者,但随着职员接二连三的离开,物理学家们声称,曾经标志性的贝尔实验室最终离开了基础科学研究。
 
根据《自然》杂志的一篇在线新闻报道,目前只剩下4位科学家在贝尔实验室位于新泽西州的基础物理部工作。其他人要么选择了离开,要么被重新分配到公司的其他部门。Ronen Rapaport去年夏天离开了贝尔实验室,在以色列耶路撒冷希伯来大学谋求到一个职位,他说,“四个人称不上一个基础研究小组,只能算一个单一项目。”
 
不过,来自贝尔实验室母公司阿尔卡特朗讯(Alcatel-Lucent)的负责人称,关于贝尔实验室“死亡”的报道很夸张。贝尔实验室研究副主任Gee Rittenhouse表示,基础科学仍在,只是不再是物理方向。他说,“我们已经将基础研究转变到包括数学、计算机科学、网络以及无线。”
 
建立于1925年的贝尔实验室一度被认为是全世界物理方面最卓越的产业实验室。在那里,晶体管和激光等发明不断获得诺贝尔奖。这些早期工作大部分都是由实验室当时的母公司AT&T资助的,该公司垄断美国电讯行业半个世纪之久。不过随着贝尔实验室在1996年被迫纳入朗讯科技旗下以及2001年电信设备需求大幅下降,实验室的情况迅速恶化。
 
在裁员压力下,2002年,贝尔实验室的声誉又大受打击。它的“明星”研究人员Jan Hendrik Schön被发现在大量论文中伪造数据。尽管一些人坚信,随着2006年朗讯与法国阿尔卡特公司合并,贝尔实验室将会转运,但事实却并非如此。阿尔卡特朗讯6个季度连续亏损,股票价值大减,公司董事长和CEO双双宣布辞职。
 
母公司的麻烦统统都反映在了贝尔实验室上。实验室职员级别减少,一些大楼被卖给了房产投资商,今年二月,贝尔实验室还关闭了一台档次最高的硅制造设备。
 
考虑到严酷的前景,许多科学家开始寻找新的工作,以避免可能的裁员。在动荡过后,有大约30名物理学家组成的精英小团体仍然坚守在基础研究领域,但现在,这些人中的大多数也已经选择离开,寻求更加稳定的工作。美国国家标准化与技术研究所(NIST)的Vladimir Aksyuk曾是贝尔实验室的访问学者,他说,“公司已经不再能够支持研究了。在走廊里随便看看,有一大堆的空屋子。”
 
Rittenhouse没有否认,贝尔实验室关注的焦点已经发生了变化。不过,他表示,贝尔的研究需要与公司的需求相结合。2002年,朗讯已经将公司的半导体商业部分分离出去,从那时起,它的商业需求就不再是材料科学,而是转向网络。Rittenhouse说:“我们不得不调整物理研究组的重心。”除量子计算外,阿尔卡特朗讯现有的约850名研究者继续在高速电子学、微机械电子设备领域从事研究工作。“我们仍然能做好的科研,”他说。
 
不过对于Rapaport这样的物理学家而言,风平浪静的日子已经结束了。他从阿尔卡特朗讯带出的股票已经贬值得不成样子,以至于他都不愿意操心卖掉它们。“我可以把它们贴在墙上,作为对贝尔实验室的纪念。”(科学网 任霄鹏/编译)

附录:Bell Labs(中国)和Lucent(中国)之间的关系

在招聘和应聘过程中,我们往往会混淆以下三个机构之间的关系:

Lucent中国有限公司 Lucent Technology (China) Inc.
贝尔实验室(中国) Bell Labs(China)
贝尔实验室基础研究院(中国) Bell Labs Research (China)

它们之间实际上是隶属的关系,即贝尔实验室基础研究院(中国)隶属于贝尔实验室(中国),而贝尔实验室(中国)则隶属于Lucent中国有限公司。尽管它们之间存在如此的关系,但是,招聘工作则往往分别以Lucent和Bell Labs的名义开展。因此,请大家在应聘时加以区别,以便明白应聘的职位所隶属的部门。

参考文献编辑本段回目录

→如果您认为本词条还有待完善,请 编辑词条

词条内容仅供参考,如果您需要解决具体问题
(尤其在法律、医学等领域),建议您咨询相关领域专业人士。
0

标签: 贝尔实验室 Bell Labs

收藏到: Favorites  

同义词: 暂无同义词

关于本词条的评论 (共0条)发表评论>>

对词条发表评论

评论长度最大为200个字符。