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US lead in science and technology shrinking
Date:2/6/2014

siness R&D, which comprises the largest portion of U.S. R&D. This decrease in business R&D was partially offset by a temporary increase in Federal R&D funding through the 2009 American Recovery and Reinvestment Act.

However, comprehensive data covering the post-economic downturn period reveal that the U.S. has rebounded from the Great Recession better than other developed countries. By 2011, with a resurgence of business R&D, overall R&D funding had returned to 2008 levels, when adjusted for inflation. Indicators data also show that S&T degree and job holders weathered the recession better than others in the U.S. workforce.

(The report released today does not cover the period during which Federal R&D was cut sharply by sequestration. The National Science Foundation reports that Federal R&D funding has declined in each fiscal year since 2010, dropping by 7.1 percent in fiscal year 2013.)

U.S. high-tech industries have generally fared better than those of other developed economies in the aftermath of the recession. In contrast to the European Union (E.U.) and Japan, the value-added output of U.S. high-tech industries grew in 2010-12, surpassing pre-recession levels. Similarly, commercial investment in clean energy technology declined sharply in the E.U. during the recession and has yet to return to pre-downturn levels.

One of the most notable S&T trends of the last decade has been the increased innovation capacity of emerging economies as they narrowed many gaps with the West. However, the U.S. S&T enterprise remains the global leader. For example, the U.S. invests twice as much as any other single nation in R&D, despite slipping to tenth in world ranking of the percentage of its GDP it devotes to R&D. In 2011, the U.S. spent $429 billion on R&D, compared to China's $208 billion and Japan's $146 billion. Among other S&T metrics, the U.S. leads in high quality research publications, patents, and income from intellectual property ex
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Contact: Deborah Wing
dwing@nsf.gov
703-292-5344
National Science Foundation
Source:Eurekalert  

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