Improving industrial R&D has been a big part of President Barack Obama’s efforts to revive the U.S. manufacturing sector. In the midst of that discussion, the Government Accountability Office has examined the support provided by the governments of four countries with more successful manufacturing sectors: Canada, Germany, Japan, and South Korea. In a report (GAO-13-365), which was requested by Sen. John D. Rockefeller IV (D-W.Va.), the investigative arm of Congress says the four other countries put more emphasis on programs that bridge the gap between ideas and sales. Those programs encourage collaboration between companies and researchers, provide technical support to companies, or fund infrastructure. The report notes that Canada is shifting from R&D tax credits to direct research support for small and medium-sized companies. And Germany has created a series of research institutes focused on addressing important industrial questions. The report also finds that other countries emphasize vocational training and credentials at a national level rather than leaving the training to state or local governments.