Businesses in the United States are focusing a large portion of their research and development efforts on health and defense, according to a National Science Foundation (NSF) report released today.
Of the $290.7 billion in total R&D that was performed by businesses in the United States in 2008, 40 percent was applied to health and medical areas ($76.1 billion) and defense areas ($41.5 billion). More than 86 percent of the health or medical R&D performed by businesses was paid for by the reporting companies themselves. However, the federal government funded most of the defense R&D performed by companies.
R&D paid for by the companies themselves reflects company priorities and strategies. Two-thirds of the company-funded health or medical R&D was performed by companies in the pharmaceutical and medicine industry. And most of the company-funded R&D with defense applications was performed by companies in the computer and electronic products or aerospace industries.
The report also provides detail on energy, environmental protection and agricultural application areas. Data are from NSF's Business R&D and Innovation Survey.
For more information on this report, please contact Raymond Wolfe.
Please visit NSF's National Center for Science and Engineering Statistics on the Web for more reports and other products.