Assessing the Impacts of Changes in the Information Technology R&D Ecosystem: Retaining Leadership in an Increasingly Global Environment The sustained development of information technology (IT) over the past several decades has contributed significantly to nearly every aspect of the U.S. economy and society. This development has been fueled by the participation and cooperation of members of an ecosystem comprising academic, industry, and government IT research and development (R&D) performers and supporters. Concern has been growing, however, that the historically highly successful U.S. IT innovation ecosystem is at risk. In this period of intense global competition—reflecting, notably, the growing economic strength of India and China—the consequences for the United States of a less than vital IT R&D ecosystem could be quite severe. To address these concerns, the National Science Foundation asked the National Research Council (NRC) to assess the impacts of changes in the IT R&D infrastructure. The statement of task for the study was as follows: This study will assess the changes occurring to the structure, processes and outcomes that have historically characterized the nation’s longterm investment in information technology research and development. It will look broadly across academic, government and industry activities (including research, human resource and venture capital development), characterize issues and identify opportunities to sustain innovation. It will examine issues including the maturation of information technology research fields, economic processes of information technology research and production, international competition and collaboration (intellectual and economic), patterns of funding, and the structure of funding programs as they affect the innovation and human resources pipeline.