Here's a good read if you want to geek out on government R&D history. And honestly, who doesn't? This paper from Dartmouth is a reminder of the often forgotten fact that government R&D and its partnership with industry began with the country itself. Hamilton's Report on Manufactures was one of the very first initiatives of the newly elected Washington Administration. It called for tariffs on important goods, limitations on imports, and for bounties and incentives to encourage manufacturing and certain other industries. I haven't seen the musical yet so I'm not sure if they sing about this one but I doubt it. The report itself was shelved unlike the ones on public credit and for a new national bank but many of the provisions were adopted piecemeal over time. It was also the first shot in an ongoing battle about the role of government in encouraging industry. That debate still plays out today as you can see with the current Administration's infrastructure proposals and trade and tax policy. So if you have time during our potential shutdown, read a little bit about where government innovation began.