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2009 Funding Reflects Global Economic Turmoil
December 30, 2009

Industry and government sources that intend to spend money to fund research and development are a reflection of the world’s economy–unsure, according to the latest joint BattelleR&D Magazine 2009 R&D Funding Forecast. The report, which has mapped research and development (R&D) spending for longer than 40 years, also shows a growing movement toward international collaboration.

The forecast estimates that 2009 R&D spending in the US will reach $383.5 billion, up 1.75 percent from the approximately $377 billion in 2008. However, when corrected for inflation, real spending will decrease by about 1.6 percent. This decrease arises from an expected 2.9 percent decrease in federal support and a 1.3 percent decrease in industrial funding, as expressed in inflation-adjusted dollars. At the same time, the overall global R&D funding is expected to increase by about 3.2 percent, as expressed in current (non-inflation adjusted) dollars.

The United States’ federal budget problems will have an impact on the amounts of discretionary spending that will be dedicated to U.S. research regardless of merit. Rapidly changing business conditions will affect industrial R&D expenditures.

Although the incoming Administration had stressed the importance of maintaining a strong and growing R&D base, it is expected that near-term support will be influenced by the existing Federal Budget. The budget for Fiscal Year 2010 will be the first opportunity for the new Administration to set goals for both continuation and initiation of major R&D areas.

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