Yearly Report PART I Item 1 - Purpose and Function of Our Government - General

Research and development

Published on Mon, April 13, 2020 11:13AM PDT | Updated Fri, April 17, 2020 6:31PM PDT

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Research and development > Item 1 - Purpose and Function of Our Government - General > PART I > Government 10-K

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Calendar year (in millions)

1980

 

1990

 

2000

 

2010

 

2016

 

2017

 

2018

 

2019

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Federal R&D outlays by agency 1

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

All agencies

$29,154

 

$62,135

 

$76,898

 

$131,388

 

$109,552

 

$110,000

 

$117,072

 

$127,853

Department of Defense

13,501

 

36,703

 

38,519

 

67,615

 

42,700

 

41,292

 

44,843

 

49,640

Department of Health and Human Services

3,477

 

8,309

 

18,187

 

34,928

 

29,522

 

31,169

 

32,997

 

35,778

Department of Energy

4,697

 

5,508

 

6,068

 

8,986

 

11,855

 

12,020

 

14,607

 

17,173

NASA

3,465

 

6,324

 

6,424

 

7,316

 

11,937

 

10,528

 

10,765

 

10,759

All other

4,014

 

5,291

 

7,700

 

12,543

 

13,538

 

14,991

 

13,860

 

14,503

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Higher education R&D expenditures (including Federal) 2

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Total higher education

$6,063

 

$16,290

 

$30,084

 

$61,287

 

$71,894

 

$75,328

 

$79,436

 

na

Federal government – all agencies 3

4,098

 

9,640

 

17,548

 

37,478

 

38,847

 

40,308

 

42,018

 

na

Department of Health and Human Services

na

 

na

 

na

 

na

 

20,660

 

21,625

 

22,922

 

na

Department of Defense

na

 

na

 

na

 

na

 

5,313

 

5,636

 

5,901

 

na

National Science Foundation

na

 

na

 

na

 

na

 

5,114

 

5,207

 

5,274

 

na

All other

na

 

na

 

na

 

na

 

7,691

 

7,769

 

7,848

 

na

State and local government

491

 

1,324

 

2,200

 

3,887

 

4,034

 

4,172

 

4,321

 

na

Institution funds

835

 

3,006

 

5,925

 

11,943

 

17,961

 

19,008

 

20,438

 

na

Business

236

 

1,127

 

2,156

 

3,202

 

4,216

 

4,429

 

4,724

 

na

All other

403

 

1,191

 

2,255

 

4,777

 

6,836

 

7,412

 

7,935

 

na

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Source: National Science Foundation. Details may not add to totals due to rounding.

†† We limited the data in this table to the years presented to provide the most recent data but to also fit the table to the page. Additional years of data and more detail may be found on our website. Click “More detail” to access it.

na An “na” reference in the table means the data is not available.

1 Represents pure R&D, excludes facilities and fixed equipment.

2 Science and Engineering R&D only.

3 Federal Expenditures are also counted in Federal R&D Outlays by Agency above. Details may not add to totals, as details and totals were taken from two separate data sources.

Our Government spends money on research and development (R&D) to provide for the common defense and promote the general welfare of our citizens and in pursuit of specific goals, such as weapons in an effort to assure the safety and security of US citizens and vaccines against disease. More broadly, R&D spending can foster innovation, which can fuel economic growth, create jobs, and ultimately enhance our Government’s financial position by broadening the tax base. Government R&D spending also promotes scientific and engineering skills in the workforce, in an effort to keep the US at the forefront of global innovation.

In 2018, 38% of federal R&D outlays were for the Department of Defense, with most of that devoted to the development of advanced weapons systems such as the Joint Strike Fighter. The Department of Energy also carries out R&D on nuclear weapons, in addition to basic scientific research in areas such as nuclear physics and the biological and environmental sciences. At the National Institutes of Health, which accounts for about a third of federal R&D spending, research is focused in understanding, diagnosing, preventing, and treating illnesses such as cancer and Alzheimer’s disease. NASA is funding research for projects, including advanced electronic propulsion systems and space habitation projects.

Much of our Government’s research is carried out under contract by private-sector companies or at colleges, universities, hospitals, and private research institutions. Our Government conducts research in several hundred laboratories around the country, such as the Brookhaven National Laboratory in Long Island, New York, and the Los Alamos National Laboratory near Santa Fe, New Mexico.