Character of Work
National Patterns of
R&D Resources: 1994

NSF 95-304


Character of Work

Basic Research
Applied Research
Development

The Nation spent an estimated $31 billion on basic research in 1994, $41 billion on applied research, and $100 billion on development (chart 14). These totals represent increases from estimated 1993 levels of 2 percent for basic research (unchanged in real terms); 2 percent for applied research (a decline of 1 percent in real terms); and 1 percent for development (a decline of 2 percent in real terms). As a percentage of all 1994 estimated R&D expenditures, these figures represent an 18 percent share for basic research, 24 percent of total for applied research, and 58 percent of total for development.

Chart 14

The 1994 percentage shares differ somewhat from those reported for 1980. Basic and applied research then accounted for smaller shares 13 and 22 percent, respectively-of R&D total, and development, for a slightly larger share-65 percent. The methodology for imputing character of work estimates for industry's R&D performance, however, was changed for 1986 and later years. The revised approach resulted in relatively higher estimates for basic and applied research and lower estimates for development expenditures. Consequently, data after 1985 are not strictly comparable with data for 1985 and earlier years. (See appendix A for further details.)

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