Definitions

The National Science Foundation uses the following definitions in its resource surveys.

Basic research: The objective of basic research is to gain more comprehensive knowledge or understanding of the subject under study, without specific applications in mind. In industry, basic research is defined as research that advances scientific knowledge but does not have specific immediate commercial objectives, although it may be in fields of present or potential commercial interest.

Applied research: Applied research is aimed at gaining knowledge or understanding to determine the means by which a specific, recognized need may be met. In industry, applied research includes investigations oriented to discovering new scientific knowledge that has specific commercial objectives with respect to products, processes, or services.

Development: Development is the systematic use of the knowledge or understanding gained from research directed toward the production of useful materials, devices, systems, or methods, including the design and development of prototypes and processes.

Budget authority: Budget authority is the authority provided by Federal law to incur financial obligations that will result in outlays.

Obligations: Federal obligations represent the amounts for orders placed, contracts awarded, services received, and similar transactions during a given period, regardless of when the funds were appropriated or payment required.

Outlays: Federal outlays represent the amounts for checks issued and cash payments made during a given period, regardless of when the funds were appropriated or obligated.


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