NSF study documents proportion of university R&D funded by business
According to a recent study published by the National Science Foundation (NSF), universities reported that almost 5 percent, or $3.2 billion, of their $65 billion total in expenditures for research and development (R&D) in fiscal year 2011 was funded by businesses. This percentage has remained stable since the late 1970s, and did not differ much between public and private institutions.
Sixty-seven percent of the universities surveyed reported some level of R&D funding from business in 2011, with 38 percent of those reporting business-funded expenditures in excess of $1 million. The top 15 academic institutions that received business funding accounted for 37 percent of the $3.2 billion total. A majority of the R&D funding by businesses was directed to the medical sciences (39 percent) and engineering (26 percent).
Businesses reported that payments to U.S. colleges and universities for collaborative R&D projects or purchased R&D services represented less than 1 percent of company R&D spending. However, about one-third of companies that performed large amounts of R&D reported making payments or initiating new R&D collaborations with academia in 2010.
This study gathered data from two NSF surveys--the Higher Education R&D Survey and the Business R&D and Innovation Survey--to examine businesses' R&D collaborations with academic institutions, as well as relationships between businesses and academia.
Please visit the NSF's National Center for Science and Engineering Statistics for more reports and other products.