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NSF Finds State Agencies Spent $1.1B for R&D in FY 2006

May 07, 2008

In its first state R&D survey since 1998, the National Science Foundation (NSF) finds 252 different state agencies across the country directly supported R&D and R&D facilities totaling $1.1 billion in fiscal year 2006. The survey, released this morning, was conducted for NSF by the U.S. Census Bureau.

California, Florida, Michigan, New York, Ohio and Pennsylvania were the only states to exceed $40 million each in spending. Combined, the six states accounted for 49 percent of the total. Individually, their totals were:

  • $117.3 million - Pennsylvania
  • $107.8 million - California
  • $103.6 million - New York
  • $75.0 million - Michigan
  • $55.1 million - Ohio
  • $42.3 million - Florida

Federal sources account for 25 percent of the total. State and nonfederal sources provided $767 million.

The NSF Issue Brief that highlights the survey findings advises against making comparisons with previous state agency surveys because of differences "in the survey populations, definition of covered R&D activities, and collection methods." The $1.1 billion figure, much lower than many may expect, does not include direct state appropriations to universities for research and facilities. An NSF survey of FY 2006 academic R&D expenditures reported academic institutions citing state sources of funds totaling $3.01 billion, while the new state agency survey only found $504 million being from state agencies.

The new survey also apparently does not include funds spent for inducement of private R&D facilities, such as the case of Florida's biotech strategy (see related article in this Digest) or EPSCoR matching contributions controlled by a state agency. An example is Maine, where state research spending at academic institutions is reported as zero.

Only nine agencies classified as economic development and 13 labeled science and technology provided responses to the survey, also potentially leading to an underreporting of the total. Not all TBED-related state investments are eligible for inclusion, however. According to the NSF Issue Brief "any entities determined to be nonprofit or private, as defined by Census Bureau government classification, were also excluded from the respondent universe. Several industry-specific state commissions, which are generally chartered by state legislatures, but administered independently, were considered state agencies and included in the survey."

NSF and the Census Bureau plan to begin the next survey for FY 2007 data in the very near future.

The Issue Brief is available at: http://www.nsf.gov/statistics/infbrief/nsf08309/
Data tables will be available in the near future at: http://www.nsf.gov/statistics/staterd/