r&d

Federal science & engineering support to universities declines

At least 1,016 academic institutions across the U.S.  received federal support for a range of science and engineering functions in FY 2015, according to the latest survey from National Science Foundation. While the total was up slightly from the 1,003 institutions reported in the previous year, NSF also found that larger community divided a federal pie that was 3 percent or $900 million less than 2014, in constant dollars.  The FY 2015 total figure of $27,747 million was 6 percent less than the 2012 total of $29,580 million, also in constant dollars. 

ARPA-E successful in short term, needs longer life

Although it has been slated for elimination under the president’s proposed budget, the Advanced Research Projects Agency-Energy (ARPA-E) program is making progress toward achieving its statutory mission and goals, and it “cannot reasonably be expected to have completely fulfilled those goals given so few years of operation and the size of its budget.” That is among the findings released this week by the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering and Medicine (NASEM) in its assessment of ARPA-E. The project was overseen by the Board on Science, Technology, and Economic Policy (STEP) and was tasked with assessing ARPA-E’s progress toward achieving its statutory mission and goals, and determining whether it is on a trajectory to achieve them. In short, the answer is that it is.

MI’s research corridor spurs state economy

Michigan’s University Research Corridor, an alliance of Michigan State University, the University of Michigan and Wayne State University, conducted $1.2 billion in academic R&D in the life, medical and health sciences, and served as a stabilizing force to the state’s economy as one of the only sectors that grew during the 2000s. Those are among the findings of the 2017 URC sector report, which was prepared by Public Sector Consultants. The report, Leading Discovery: URC Contributions to the Life, Medical and Health Sciences, notes that employment in the life, medical and health sciences sector, which accounts for one in eight jobs in Michigan, is up 18.9 percent since 2000, compared to overall Michigan employment, which is down 9.3 percent.

NIH considers limits on individual research funding; impacts examined

In part one of two, SSTI will examine NIH’s proposed changes that will place limits on individual researcher funding.

On May 2, the National Institutes of Health (NIH) announced that it intends to implement a new approach to grant funding with the purpose of increasing the number of researchers receiving grants. These proposed changes are due to a highly skewed distribution of NIH funding with 10 percent of NIH-funded investigators receiving over 40 percent of funding. NIH intends to roll out specific policies and procedures as part of the new approach – titled the Grant Support Index (GSI) – that will assess effectiveness of NIH research investments. During this time, NIH also will seek feedback from on how best to implement the individual grant funding limits.

U.S. companies investing in foreign R&D

U.S. companies spent 18 percent of their research and development dollars outside of the United States in 2013, according to data recently released by the NSF. The $73 billion in foreign R&D is concentrated in the information industry, pharmaceuticals, semiconductors, and automobiles and parts. Those four industries accounted for 52 percent of all foreign R&D performance by U.S.

House Science Committee advancing R&D changes

The U.S. House Science Committee released a letter last week reasserting the majority party’s interest in setting R&D priorities for federal science agencies and supporting appropriation levels that generally align with the White House’s budget blueprint. The letter notes priorities for most of the $42 billion in R&D budgets within the committee’s purview.

University-industry collaboration drives academic productivity, openness

While some researchers contend that university-industry collaboration may corrupt the academic ideal of open sciences and reduce academic productivity, researchers from the London Business School (LBS) and University of Southern California (USC) found that university-industry research collaborations – in certain situations – can lead to more publications but fewer patents than similar academic studies without industry partners. These findings would indicate that such collaboration can actually stimulate open science and increase academic productivity, rather than weaken it.

Top Stories from 2016 and a Preview of 2017

This week, we take a look at the top SSTI Weekly Digest stories from 2016 and give you an idea of what to look for in the coming months.

Cures Act Provides Research Funding, Direction

The 21st Century Cures Act was signed by President Obama on Tuesday and is broadly intended to facilitate the research, development and transfer of medical discoveries in order to better-address diseases affecting American people. While the bill has received mainstream coverage for its bipartisanship – the core authors were two Democrats and two Republicans – and billions in new research spending – more than $5 billion in authorizations – the text also contains potentially significant changes for federally-supported medical research policy.

Useful Stats: 50 State Table Reveals University R&D Change Over Five Years

Nearly half of the U.S. states and the District of Columbia saw a 10 percent or greater increase in higher education R&D expenditures from FY 2010 to FY 2015 with five of those states (Connecticut, Georgia, Massachusetts, Nebraska, and Utah) seeing at least a 20 percent change, according to the National Science Foundation’s (NSF) Higher Education Research and Development (HERD) survey for 2015. Between FY10-15 overall U.S. research and development (R&D) spending at U.S.

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