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2004 R&D Funding: Industrial-Sector Spending Creeps Up

Research-and-development expenditures in the United States are expected to increase modestly from the $283.8 billion spent in 2003, according to an annual funding forecast issued by Columbus, Ohio-based Battelle Memorial Institute and R&D Magazine. The 2004 increase of about 2.5% would bring R&D spending to nearly $291 billion in 2004. Government funding will increase the most, while industrial-sector support will rise just slightly. Industrial-sector spending is expected to increase less than a percentage point to $181 billion, which actually translates to slightly less than was spent in 2003 on an inflation-adjusted basis, according to the forecast. Federal spending will rise by 4.8% to $89.4 billion, while academia and other non-profit funding is expected to increase an average of about 7.6% to $20.3 billion. "The focus area of R&D appears to be shifting in the first half of the 21st century," says Jules Duga, a Battelle senior researcher and co-author of the forecast report. "R&D research now has a significant focus on nanotechnology, biotechnology and support of defense and homeland security. This is a shift from growth drivers in the mid- to late1990s when R&D was dominated by pharmaceutical, software, telecommunications and semiconductor technologies," he said.

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