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NSF Surveys Show Diversity of Relationships between University-Industry Partners

September 26, 2013

According to the National Science Foundation’s (NSF) Higher Education Research and Development (HERD) Survey the percentage of university R&D funded by private sector investment has remained mostly stable since the late 1970s, hovering between 5 percent and 7 percent of total R&D expenditures. In FY 2011 the private sector invested $3.2 billion, or 4.9 percent of the total $65 billion university R&D expenditures. Sixty-seven percent of surveyed universities reported some level of R&D funding from businesses, with the majority of that funding being directed toward the medical sciences (39 percent) and engineering (26 percent). 

While general levels of investment have remained the same, the dynamics of university-industry R&D funding widely vary. The top 15 academic institutions that received private sector funding for R&D accounted for 37 percent of total expenditures, reflecting a steep inequality between major research universities and other schools. Duke University, MIT, The Ohio State University, and the University of California-Berkeley were the top recipients of private research dollars, with each reporting over $100 million in funding. However, schools that reflected the highest percentage of private R&D funding tended to be smaller schools with highly focused research budgets. Read the info brief…

stats, nsf, r&d