IF it is OK to finace the big three, in the national interest, why wouldn't the same be true of putting fed dollars into venture capital?
Asa an example, it is clear that genetic engineering has he huge and a patentable future. Why not add a new Institute to the NIH, the National Institute for Biologic Entrepreneurial Resources. The NIBER would function to centralize development of resources that would give Americans either patents or resources to compete on an unequal footing with the rest of the world.
Combinatorial Chemical Libraries
Proteomics 's, esp high throughput cytokine analyses (himones that control most dideases).
Large scale human genomic sequencing.
The criteria for all the NIBER would be profit. The US HAS done this very successfully in the past (RCA, Groton, the Internet, Computing). Moreover a major issue for modern coprpoations, incl. GM, is that they have a probl,e undertaking long term projects.
Finally, unlike a lot of energy research, most of this is now easily dooable. There is no dicovery here, merely the need to spend capital at low risk.. These probrams could be undertaken by private industry with NIBER and might require particcpation fincaially in return for rights to IP.