Project Socrates had a two-fold mission. First was to determine the true underlying cause of America's declining competitiveness, and second was to use this understanding to develop the required solutions. Socrates was successful on both parts of its mission.
To determine the underlying cause, Socrates used all-source intelligence to generate a holistic, bird's eye view of competition worldwide. This view, and the resulting understanding, went far beyond, in terms of scope and completeness, that which was and is available to the university professors, think tank analysts and consultants.
Socrates determined that the US was losing its ability to compete because decision making throughout the US had begun transitioning from technology-based to economic-based planning beginning at the end of World War II.
In economic-based planning the foundation of all decision-making is the optimization of the utilization of funds and the measure of success is how well the funds were optimized. In tech-based planning (where technology is defined as any application of science to accomplish a function) the foundation of decision-making is the effective acquisition and utilization of technology to excel at satisfying customer needs for a competitive advantage. Once a competitive advantage is acquired the funds can than be optimized.
Technology-based planning, and not economic-based planning, is what was used to build the US into a major economic power before WWII and is what China is using to rapidly transform itself into a super-power.
Socrates determined that to rebuild America's competitiveness America's decision-makers in both the private and public sectors needed to switch back to technology-based planning, but not in the same manner that the US had used before WWII. The execution of tech-based planning had become much more sophisticated by our competitors and allies since the end of WWII.
To determine how to leapfrog the rest of the world's tech-based planning, the Socrates team reviewed tech-based planning over the entire history of mankind and saw that tech-based planning makes a major evolutionary leap forward, and with it mankind, every few hundred years (e.g., the scientific revolution, the industrial revolution). It was also determined that the factors that drive these evolutionary leaps were set for the next evolutionary leap--The Automated Innovation revolution.
Socrates developed the basis for an automated innovation system and built a test-bed version of the system to provide support to various high priority government programs to prove the system's viability and impact. As a result, President Reagan had an executive order drafted creating a new federal agency that would develop the full system and deploy it as a national resource. Reagan saw the US leading mankind in this next evolutionary leap of automated innovation. President Bush abolished the executive order and the entire Socrates initiative for political reasons.
The automated innovation system enables technology to be acquired and utilized, to include the execution of research and development, with unprecedented speed, efficiency and agility.