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Press Release 12-145
Research Collaboration Among Multiple Institutions Is Growing Trend

According to NSF report, federal initiatives and technological advances are contributing factors

Photo of three researchers in lab coats and a microscope and test tubes on a table.

Research collaboration of multiple institutions shows increases in academic pass-through funding.
Credit and Larger Version

August 3, 2012

A recent National Science Foundation report found that research collaboration among multiple institutions is a growing trend.

The conclusion was drawn by noting increases in the amount of total expenditures for research and development that universities pass through to other institutions and receive from other institutions.

During fiscal years 2000-2009, the amount of R&D funding that passed through universities to others for collaborative projects grew more rapidly than overall academic R&D expenditures. After adjustment for inflation, total academic R&D expenditures increased 47 percent during this period, and R&D funds passed through to others more than doubled.

In fiscal year 2000, universities provided about $700 million to other schools and about $482 million to other entities; in fiscal 2009, they provided $1.9 billion to other schools and $1.4 billion to other entities.

Federal initiatives contributed to this growth in research collaboration, as did technological advances that facilitate communication. Other factors were opportunities for division of labor, risk sharing, and increased research credibility.

Please visit the NSF's National Center for Science and Engineering Statistics (NCSES) for more reports and other products.

-NSF-

Media Contacts
Deborah Wing, NSF, (703) 292-5344, dwing@nsf.gov

Program Contacts
Katherine Hale, NSF, (703) 292-7786, khale@nsf.gov

The National Science Foundation (NSF) is an independent federal agency that supports fundamental research and education across all fields of science and engineering. In fiscal year (FY) 2014, its budget is $7.2 billion. NSF funds reach all 50 states through grants to nearly 2,000 colleges, universities and other institutions. Each year, NSF receives about 50,000 competitive requests for funding, and makes about 11,500 new funding awards. NSF also awards about $593 million in professional and service contracts yearly.

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