Universities and Colleges
NSF 95-304

Universities and Colleges

Universities and colleges (excluding academically administered FFRDCs) accounted for an estimated 12 percent ($21 billion) of the 1994 national R&D performance effort. This total represents a 3 percent increase from 1993 levels, or 1 percent inflation adjusted growth.

Unlike the industry and Federal sectors, overall R&D performance by the academic sector increased rapidly throughout the mid 1980s and continued to grow, though less rapidly, into the early 1990s (chart 10).[13] From 1980 to 1985 real growth averaged somewhat under 4 percent annually. Whereas real increases in the R&D performance of other sectors slowed considerably after 1985, that of universities and colleges increased to more than an estimated 5 percent average annual rate over the 1985-94 period.

Chart 10

The Federal Government provides the major albeit declining share of the R&D funds used by universities and colleges. In the early 1980s Federal funds accounted for two thirds of the academic total. By 1991, however, this share had dropped to a low of 58 percent and has risen slightly to an estimated 60 percent in 1994. Consequently, much of the recent growth in academic R&D performance is attributable to increased funding from non Federal sources, the industrial sector in particular (chart 12).

Chart 12

Between 1985 and 1994 total R&D performance by universities and colleges exclusive of FFRDCs-increased an estimated 59 percent in real terms. Federally financed academic R&D ($12.2 billion in 1994) was up 51 percent, and university and college R&D performance using non Federal funds ($8.3 billion) grew by 72 percent. The links between academic institutions and industry expanded considerably. Industry's academic R&D funding increased by 95 percent in real terms from 1985 to 1994, although it accounts for just 7 percent ($1.5 billion) of academia's 1994 R&D total. Universities' own institutional funds the largest non Federal source are 70 percent higher in real terms and accounted for 18 percent ($3.7 billion) of their separately budgeted 1994 R&D expenditure total. Real R&D funds from State and local governments increased by 65 percent over this 9 year period and constitute 8 percent ($1.7 billion) of universities' 1994 R&D total.

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13. R&D data are for separately budgeted expenditures only. Consequently, they exclude that portion of salaries for research time or other research expenses financed by funds not specifically earmarked for R&D from State and local governments and other non Federal sources, including endowments.


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