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General Science and Engineering Indicators
R&D Investment Patterns
R&D Investment by Selected Country
Academic R&D Investment by Selected Country and S&E Field
U.S. R&D Investment by Selected Source of Support
U.S. R&D Investment by Selected Performing Sector
U.S. R&D Investment by Federal Budget Function
U.S. Federal Research Investment by Selected Agency and S&E Field
S&E Workforce Development
Knowledge Output

Selected Education Indicators
High School Completion Patterns
High School Teachers
Higher Education Enrollments

Selected Global Marketplace Indicators


Universities and colleges perform the majority of basic research in the United States, while industry performs the majority of applied R&D.

Why is this indicator important?

  • The innovation enterprise in the United States includes R&D performed in many sectors, each contributing to the national effort.
  • Understanding how the S&E roles of academia, government and industry help to identify complementarities and gaps in the national S&E effort.

Key Observations

  • The growth of basic research performed by the academic sector has slowed in recent years, while the level of applied research performed by that sector is estimated to be growing.
  • There is evidence for some recovery in industrial performance of applied research and development after a brief downturn around 2000.

Related Discussion

  • Scientists and engineers working for non-profit organizations and federally funded research and development centers (FFRDCs) also represent important performers of R&D in the United States.