Much of the basic technology which serves as catalysts for new fields comes from the national or international laboratories-the World Wide Web was developed at CERN; the graphical user interface at University of Illinois; genetic algorithms by psychologist/computer scientist John Holland at University of Michigan.
So, it should come as some concern that, according to a recently released report by the National Science Foundation, industry support of science and engineering research and development at universities fell in 2004 for the third year in a row.
While private investment fell 2.6 percent that year, federal government investment rose 10.7 percent, with Federal spending totaling $27.4, compared to $2.1 from industry (Psychology and mathematics received the least amount of government support). According to the report, corporations continue to fund the bulk of R&D in the U.S., mostly in their own labs.
While industry support of campus research has waned steadily for the past 3 years, businesses spend almost 10 times more on R&D overall than the federal government does. In 2003, for example, companies spent a total of $204 billion on R&D, according to a survey conducted by NSF and the U.S. census bureau and published in a Dec. 2005 InfoBrief.
In 2003, some 38,000 companies performed R&D in the United States. In the manufacturing sector, the auto industry, drug manufacturers and the semiconductor industry spent the most. Software publishing led the non-manufacturing sector.
The data were obtained from 612 colleges and universities that grant degrees in the sciences or engineering and spend at least $150,000 a year on R&D. It appeared in an April 2006 InfoBrief published by NSF.
Among the universities surveyed, Johns Hopkins ranked highest in R&D expenditures in 2004. Other top institutions included several University of California campuses, the University of Michigan, the University of Wisconsin-Madison, and the University of Washington.