National Patterns of R&D Resources: 2008 Data Update
National Patterns of R&D Resources describes and analyzes the current patterns of research and development (R&D) in the United States, with comparison to the historical record and the reported R&D levels of other industrialized countries. The data tables are a statistical supplement to the Division of Science Resources Statistics' (NSF/SRS) recent InfoBrief (January 2010) that discusses the National Patterns findings for 2008 ( http://www.nsf.gov/statistics/infbrief/nsf10312/). The tables encompass the numerous national R&D resources variables tracked by the National Patterns statistical effort.
Tables 1–10 present NSF's most current information on R&D expenditures in the United States. The statistics on expenditure levels over time (1953–2008) are broken out by:
Please note: For trend comparisons, use only the historical data reported here. These tables incorporate the latest revisions to prior-year data, including recently revised estimates of R&D performance by nonprofit organizations. Do not use data published earlier.
Table 11 reports R&D expenditures and administrative information for the 38 U.S. federally funded research and development centers (FFRDCs) (for fiscal years 2007 and 2008).
Table 12 describes the trends in federal and nonfederal R&D expenditures as a share of total R&D.
Table 13 describes the trends in year-to-year growth of U.S. gross domestic product and support for R&D.
Table 14 compares R&D expenditures, in total and as a share of gross domestic product across the 10 largest R&D-performing countries (United States, Japan, China, Germany, France, South Korea, United Kingdom, Russian Federation, Canada, and Italy).
Explanations of the methodology and technical issues involved in obtaining and compiling these R&D statistics can be found in National Patterns of R&D Resources: 2006 Methodology Report (the most recent edition). The R&D expenditures data presented here derive chiefly from information obtained from NSF/SRS surveys: the Survey of Industrial Research and Development, 2007; Survey of Research and Development Expenditures at Universities and Colleges, Fiscal Year 2008; Survey of Federal Funds for Research and Development: Fiscal Years 2007–09. Information from the Survey of Research and Development Funding and Performance by Nonprofit Organizations, 1996–97, is an input to the current-year estimates for this sector.
It should be noted that federal funding for R&D as reported here is based on surveys of organizations that conduct R&D—such as companies, universities, and FFRDCs. Figures for federal R&D funding as reported by the federal agencies that provide these funds differ. These disparities appear to be concentrated in Department of Defense funding for industry. See National Patterns of R&D Resources: 2003 for detailed documentation and discussion.
Updates to Methodology
Prior to fiscal year 2001, R&D data for all FFRDCs were collected through three separate surveys: the Survey of R&D Expenditures at Universities and Colleges (for university-administered FFRDCs), the Survey of Industrial R&D (for industry-administered FFRDCs), and the Survey of Federal Funds for R&D (for nonprofit-administered FFRDCs). Starting in fiscal year 2001, data for all FFRDCs have been collected through the Survey of R&D Expenditures at Universities and Colleges.
Several adjustments have been made to expenditure figures reported for R&D performed at universities and colleges (but not including FFRDCs). In 1998 and later years, university R&D figures have been adjusted to eliminate double counting of funds passed through from one academic institution to another. For example, in fiscal year 1998, $479 million in pass-through funds were reported. The comparable pass-through figure for FY 2008 is $1,700 million. Additionally, the procedure for estimating character of work in university and college R&D has been revised for 1998 and later years. Respondent corrections and this revised estimation procedure resulted in an increase of approximately 5 percentage points in the share of academic R&D characterized as basic research. These changes make the data for 1998 and later years not directly comparable with the data for 1997 and earlier years.
For industry R&D, the character of work estimates have also been revised for 1998 and later years. These revisions resulted in a net decrease in the proportion of industry R&D classified as basic research. Again, as a result of these revisions, the data for 1998 and later years are not directly comparable with data for 1997 and earlier years.
Notes on How to Read the Tables
Tables 1 through 8 are arranged to exhibit R&D data from two differing perspectives: (1) by type of performer, with subsequent breakouts by source of funds, and (2) by source of funds, with subsequent breakouts by type of performer. The first case describes the distribution of total R&D performance among the various performers and then for each performer the sources of funding. The second case describes the distribution of total R&D funding among the various source organizations and then how each source's funding is distributed to performers.
For example, the upper left-hand corners of table 1 and table 5 are displayed below, which represent the above cases 1 and 2, respectively. In table 1, the first row column for industry as a performer breaks out in the second row to the two main sources of industrial R&D funding: the federal government and industry's own funds. For the federal government as a performer, federal is repeated in the second row because the federal government is the only source of funds for federal intramural research .
In table 5, the federal government as a source of funding (first row) subdivides to a set of columns in the second row, reflecting the various performers receiving federal funds for R&D (such as industry, universities and colleges, the federal government itself).
Tables 1–4 are structured the same, and tables 5–8 are structured the same. However, tables 2–4 and 6–8 focus separately, in turn, on basic research, applied research, and development, rather than on total R&D expenditures (which is the sum of these three components).