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Directorate for
Social, Behavioral
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National Science Foundation
NSF 01-319, February 26, 2001
 

FY 2001 Department of Defense Share of
Federal R&D Funding Falls to Lowest
Level in 22 Years

by
Ronald L. Meeks

 

 


Over the last two decades, the share of Federal R&D funding for HHS programs, primarily health, grew considerably, reaching 23 percent in FY 2001.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


Federal funding for R&D in FY 2001 is slated mostly for non-Federal sectors of the economy.

 

Federal obligations for research and development (R&D) and R&D plant are expected to reach $83.6 billion in fiscal year (FY) 2001, according to a survey of Federal agencies conducted in 2000. Survey results show that the Department of Defenseís (DoDís) R&D and R&D plant share is nearly 44 percent of total Federal R&D and R&D plant funds in FY 2001. This is the lowest DoD share since FY 1979 when it was 43 percent of the Federal total (figure 1). Between FY 1979 and FY 2001, DoDís R&D share peaked at nearly 63 percent in FY 1986.

Figure 1. Federal obligations for research and development (R&D) and for R&D plant, by selected agencies: fiscal years 1975-2001

The Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) is the agency with the next largest FY 2001 share of total Federal R&D and R&D plant funding—23 percent, compared with nearly 11 percent in FY 1986 and 12 percent in FY 1979. The HHS share growth reflects not only a relative decline in DoDís R&D funding, but also the more recent dramatic growth in the HHS (primarily the National Institutes of Health) R&D budget, which is up by 49 percent (40 percent in constant 1996 dollars) since FY 1997 alone.

Federal Funding by Sector

Industry receives 40 percent ($33.6 billion) of the FY 2001 Federal R&D and R&D plant funds (figure 2); of this, 83 percent ($27.9 billion) supports development work. DoD is the source of three-fourths ($25.3 billion) of the Federal monies obligated to industry.

Figure 2. Distribution of preliminary Federal obligations for R&D and R&D plant, by performer: FY 2001

The two other major recipients of Federal R&D dollars—universities and colleges and the Federally Funded Research and Development Centers (FFRDCs)—are slated to receive 21 percent ($17.9 billion) and 9 percent ($7.4 billion), respectively, of FY 2001 Federal R&D funding. Universities and colleges get three-fifths ($11.0 billion) of their Federal R&D funds (including R&D plant) from HHS (table 1). These schools also get 16 percent ($2.8 billion) of their Federal R&D support from the National Science Foundation; another 9 percent ($1.5 billion) comes from DoD. As a group, FFRDCs receive almost two-thirds ($4.8 billion) of their R&D money from the Department of Energy. The FFRDCs will use 58 percent ($4.3 billion) of their Federal R&D dollars to conduct basic and applied research and will spend the remaining dollars on development projects and R&D plant.

Table 1. Preliminary Federal obligations for research and development and for R&D plant, by performer: FY 2001

Other nonprofit organizations (that is, independent private organizations other than universities and colleges) are slated to receive 5 percent ($4.2 billion) of total Federal R&D and R&D plant funds. These nonprofit organizations will use four-fifths ($3.3 billion) of this money to conduct basic and applied research and will spend the remaining dollars on development projects and R&D plant. State governments and foreign performers are expected to receive very small portions of the Federal R&D total (0.5 percent or $0.4 billion and 0.3 percent or $0.3 billion, respectively).

Federal intramural (in-house) R&D performers will receive almost 24 percent ($19.8 billion) of the Federal R&D total. Nearly equal amounts of these R&D dollars will go to development projects ($9.6 billion) and research activities ($9.8 billion). About 44 percent ($8.6 billion) of Federal intramural funding will come from DoD, followed by more than 19 percent ($3.9 billion) from HHS and almost 13 percent ($2.5 billion) from the National Aeronautics and Space Administration.

Data Collection Notes

The 30 Federal agencies that report R&D obligations to the Federal Funds survey submitted actual obligations for FY 1999 and preliminary data for FYs 2000 and 2001. Data were reported during the period February through November 2000; therefore, these data are based on agenciesí FY 2001 requests and do not represent actual appropriations. Agencies later revise their preliminary data to reflect actual changes in the funding levels of R&D programs. Agencies may also provide changes to prior-year data to reflect program reclassifications or other corrections.

The data presented in this Data Brief are being released in advance of the comprehensive Detailed Statistical Tables Report, Federal Funds for Research and Development: Fiscal Years 1999, 2000, and 2001, Volume 49.

This Data Brief was prepared by:

Ronald L. Meeks
Division of Science Resources Studies
National Science Foundation
4201 Wilson Boulevard, Suite 965
Arlington, VA 22230
703-292-7778
rmeeks@nsf.gov


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