More than half of all U.S. federal R&D investment is spent in support of defense, although investment in space research and in general sciences has grown more recently.
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Why is this indicator important?
Budget authority is the initial budget parameter for congressional action on the President's proposed budget and imposes a ceiling on obligations and outlays.
The large majority of Federal R&D investment is mission oriented, that is, spending to achieve government goals. Increases in Federal R&D funding in recent years reﬂect, initially, increased spending on health related research and, since 9/11, on development in national security areas.
Largely as a result of increased defense spending following 9/11, expenditures for R&D conducted by federal agencies and
grew at the rapid rate of almost 6.6% per year in real terms between 2000 and 2003.
Space R&D includes increased investments in the National Aeronautics and Space Administration's (NASA) Vision for Space Exploration to return humans to the Moon and Mars.
Note that in FY 1998 many Department of Energy (DOE) programs were reclassiﬁed from energy to general science.