Design technology and approval speciŠcation of new products The competition for technological innovation is now a global phenomenon. As innovation increasingly fuels a nation’s wealth, all countries, especially advanced ones, are emphasizing the development of new technology. More and more, they are not only directly supporting technologically inventive companies, but also analyzing and re‚ning their science and technology policies to enhance progress in this area.* In the mid-1980s, due both to Japanese technological superiority in the ‚eld of semiconductors and trade and budget de‚cits in the United States, there was a lot of talk about the relative decline of American supremacy, but that has diminished and virtually disappeared. Now the United States has again strengthened its global position in establishing knowledge networks. This is the result of increased ef‚ciency in knowledge production and applications due to policies revised in the 1990s regarding innovation in science and technology.† Since technology is increasingly regarded as contributing to national power, other ‚rst-world nations like China are aggressively challenging the technological hegemony of the United States and Japan.