There have been several key developments impacting the current state of U.S. research and the investments made by federal granting organizations.
As part of our efforts serving research-intensive universities, colleges and other institutions, we regularly come across key articles impacting our nation’s research community.
Noted here are several recent developments that have taken place so far this year.
Research Legislation Moves Through U.S. House
In April, the House Science, Space, and Technology Committee approved the America COMPETES Reauthorization Act of 2015 (H.R. 1806). The controversial bill has sparked much debate over the last several years, especially at research-intensive Universities, colleges and other institutions.
The bill was the subject of a 2-year battle between Republican lawmakers in the House and the research community. The bill now moves to the Senate where it is expected to meet with much debate especially related to provisions, which defund key NSF research programs.
The Science Magazine article entitled “After 2-Year Battle, House Passes COMPETES Act on Mostly Party-Line Vote” provides a thorough look at the debate, the legislation’s impact on research and innovation, as well as past coverage over the last two years.
Study Assesses Impacts of Declining Investment in Basic Research
A recent report by the MIT Committee to Evaluate the Innovation Deficit finds that basic research is critical in sustaining U.S. economic competitiveness. In The Future Postponed: Why Declining Investment in Basic Research Threatens a U.S. Innovation Deficit the authors provide numerous examples of how basic research benefits have helped to shape and maintain U.S. economic power. They also point to tangible cases of under-exploited areas for future innovation. The report urges continued government support in spurring innovation and a long-term approach to viewing R&D activities.
Examples of areas for basic research opportunity detailed in the report include Alzheimer’s disease, cybersecurity, quantum innovation technologies, fusion energy, catalysis, robotics, and batteries, among several others.
Nonprofit Group Offers Comprehensive Series on Research Funding
STI is a national nonprofit organization dedicated to improving initiatives that support prosperity through science, technology, innovation and entrepreneurship.
A recent article published in the SSTI Digest is entitled “The Changing Nature of U.S. Basic Research: Trends in Federal Spending.”
The comprehensive article is the first in a series looking at basic research being conducted at the nation’s leading research institutions, its impact on the larger economy, and how funding changes have impacted research.
In this first installment, the authors show that although federal spending on research and development has not kept up with federal spending as a whole, federal spending for basic research has increased over time, both in terms of total dollars and as a share of total federal R&D spending. Despite this, the vast majority of federal R&D spending is still focused on applied research and development.
The next installment of this series authored by STI will explore how basic research activities have undergone a transition as funding sources have changed over time.
Many Factors Impacting the State of U.S. Research
As the recent examples above illustrate, there are many factors impacting the state of U.S. research. As specialists in grant management systems we well know that grant funds are the lifeblood of university research.
That’s why we’ve made it our mission to empower research institutions with products and services to maximize the efforts of their faculty and research scientists.
We’ll continue to keep our eye on current trends and changes in the availability of Federal research funds, and share them in upcoming posts.