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News Release 16-154

State government R&D expenditures top $2.2 billion in FY 2015

Investment levels varied widely from state to state

Health-related projects made up the largest share of state agencies’ R&D expenditures.

Health-related projects made up the largest share of state agencies’ R&D expenditures.

December 21, 2016

This material is available primarily for archival purposes. Telephone numbers or other contact information may be out of date; please see current contact information at media contacts.

State government agencies spent more than $2.2 billion on research and development (R&D) in Fiscal Year (FY) 2015, a 16.9 percent increase over the previous year, according to a new report from the National Center for Science and Engineering Statistics (NCSES).

Of the $2.2 billion states spent on R&D, 78 percent came from state governments and other nonfederal sources. The rest came from federal funding.

State agencies themselves performed just over a quarter of the R&D funded in FY 2015. Most of that work was done on applied research (79 percent), as opposed to basic research (19 percent) and experimental development (2 percent).

The remainder of state R&D funding went to performers outside of the government, although those varied widely from state to state. Texas directed nearly 77 percent of its funding toward academic institutions, while Ohio directed 91 percent of its funding toward companies and individuals.

Investment by state governments varied widely, ranging from less than $1 million in Mississippi to $500 million in California. Five state governments -- California, New York, Florida, Texas and Ohio -- accounted for 61 percent of all state government R&D. Those same five received nearly half of the federal funding provided to states for R&D activities.

All states reported R&D expenditures in at least two of the following categories, and 18 reported expenditures in all of them: agriculture, energy, environment and natural resources, health, transportation and other.

For more information, including how much each of the top 10 states for R&D expenditures invested in each of those categories, read the full report.


  • All states reported spending in at least two of the most common R&D categories (click for detail).
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