Also at Level 2 comes the maturing of fundamental breakthroughs and their transition to usable, deployable technology for next-generation telecommunication systems and the development of roadmaps to help guide research investments.
The major benefits to the economy obtained at Level 3 are the coalescence of Level 1 and 2 elements. Skilled workers, a competence to understand the new technology, the availability of the technology, and shared goals are the ingredients required to create a healthy telecommunications industry and, more broadly, a capable telecommunications infrastructure.
Interestingly, not all of the research performed affects telecommunications alone. Because telecommunications touches multiple industries, the technology base it provides also often enables the creation of entirely new industries. The success of the iPod and other portable digital music players, for example, rests in part on earlier telecommunications-inspired work on how to compress audio for efficient transmission over limited-bandwidth channels.
At Level 4, an indirect benefit of research is a telecommunications infrastructure that provides advantages to all industries that use telecommunications. There are also end-user or consumer benefits that accrue to having an outstanding infrastructure, such as enhanced education, entertainment, and personal convenience. Finally, new companies also emerge from these new industries.
Level 5 aggregates the key benefits of research in broad areas of national concern. Concerning economic impact, the strong telecommunications industry, new spin-off industries, and more competitive industries (across the board) result in a higher GDP for the country, as well as job creation. Technological leadership and economic strength also help ensure strong leadership and capability in national defense and homeland security.
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