Upswing In Industrial R&D Creating Positive Economic Benefits

July 01, 1998

Increases in industrial research and development (R&D) activities are the highest recorded since the early 1980s, according to a new National Science Board (NSB) report to Congress.

The importance of public research to industry is also stronger today than ever, as reported in the newest edition of Science and Engineering Indicators 1998.

According to the 800-page report, the rise in industrial R&D investments is due to intense international competition, the introduction of information technology (IT) and record profits. It also attributes a direct benefit to the economy from both publicly and privately funded research.

The volume says that U.S. industry has turned a corner in the last few years, increasing investments in its own research laboratories while at the same time accelerating connections to universities and colleges for fundamental and applied research.

Patents granted to U.S. inventors and those from a number of key industrialized nations have increasingly cited public research at academic and nonprofit institutions, and government research facilities. And, American inventors more frequently than ever cite articles in research journals written overwhelmingly by U.S. authors.

"These results are striking," said Neal Lane, outgoing director of the National Science Foundation. "We see a documented, direct connection between new knowledge and economic growth. Scientific research, especially that based at universities, is proving to be a major contributor to industrial innovation."

Meanwhile, the report cautions that the recent trends in rising industrial R&D combined with a receding federal government share of investments is slowly shifting the direction of the nation's R&D enterprise. While the health of R&D funding overall remains positive, "there is cause for concern that short-term R&D may be displacing the longer-term quest for new knowledge and breakthrough discoveries," says the book's U.S./international R&D chapter summary.

Other highlights in S&E Indicators 1998 include:

NSB is the governing body for the National Science Foundation, which develops S&E Indicators for NSB through the Division of Science Resources Studies. The final report is submitted to the President, who transmits it to Congress.

National Science Foundation

Related Investments Articles from Brightsurf:

Two's a crowd: Nuclear and renewables don't mix
If countries want to lower emissions as substantially, rapidly and cost-effectively as possible, they should prioritize support for renewables, rather than nuclear power, the findings of a major new energy study concludes.

Partnerships with bankrupt companies could be double-edged sword for investors
New research from the Indiana University Kelley School of Business found that when a company is in bankruptcy, its advertising and research and development investments can cut both ways.

Food safety investments open new markets, boost revenue for small farmers
A new Cornell University study finds that when small-scale farmers are trained in food safety protocols and develop a farm food safety plan, new markets open up to them, leading to an overall gain in revenue.

Tropical forest loss
A new study from the University of Delaware finds that tropical forest loss is increased by large-scale land acquisitions and that certain kind investment projects -- including tree plantations and plantations for producing palm oil and wood fiber -- are ''consistently associated with increased forest loss.''

Forests can be risky climate investments to offset greenhouse gas emissions
Given the tremendous ability of forests to absorb carbon dioxide from the atmosphere, some governments are counting on planted forests as offsets for greenhouse gas emissions -- a sort of climate investment.

Harvard study shows where global renewable energy investments have greatest benefits
New study finds that the amount of climate and health benefits achieved from renewable energy depends on the country where it is installed.

Preventing cyber security attacks lies in strategic, third-party investments, study finds
Companies interested in protecting themselves and their customers from cyber-attacks need to invest in themselves and the vendors that handle their data, according to new research from American University.

Companies battling shareholder complaints have a potent weapon-advertising
A new study in the Journal of Marketing explores how firms can configure advertising investments to respond to shareholder complaints and limit the damage of these public battles.

Politicians walk the walk, when it comes to financial investments
For the most part, politicians do put their money where their mouths are.

How partisan politics could take a bite out of your wallet
mutual funds maximize client wealth by investing their clients' assets in funds that best match the client's investment strategy (low-risk, short-term, etc.).

Read More: Investments News and Investments Current Events is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to