Issue Date: September 1, 2008
NSF Reports Federal Funding Decline
Inflation has outpaced federal funding of academic sciences and engineering R&D for the second year in a row, according to a recent NSF report. Based on R&D expenditure surveys from universities and colleges for fiscal 2007, the report finds that federally funded R&D expenditures totaled $30.4 billion. This is an increase of only 1.1% from the previous year. However, after adjustment for inflation, it represents a 1.6% decline in constant dollars from fiscal 2006. This decline follows a 0.2% drop the previous year. This two-year shortfall in federal funding for academic R&D is "unprecedented" when compared with data collected since 1972. Federal funding for academic R&D expenditures accounted for 64% of total expenditures in 2005 but has slipped to 62% for 2007. Despite the decline in government funds, nonfederal sources of academic funding are up, due mostly to increases in R&D support from industry.
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