Deborah Austin U.S. research-and-development (R&D) expenditures are expected to climb 3.5% this year, lagging last year's estimated 4.3% and 2000's 8.4% increases, but a "triple whammy" of external factors may further exert an influence, suggests the annual R&D forecast from Battelle Memorial Institute and R&D Magazine. The factors: a presidential administration change, the faltering economy and Sept. 11 aftermath. Historically forecasters could use the phrase, "All else being equal . . .," says Battelle senior researcher Dr. Jules Duga. But, "this year is significantly different." Forecasted 2002 R&D spending includes:
The federal government will raise spending 4.7% to $75.5 billion, versus 2001's estimated 1.3% increase over year 2000. Government R&D commitment showed growth signs before Sept. 11 -- and now expenditures should be even greater, especially in intelligence information, medical delivery systems and vaccine development.
Industrial expenditures will increase 3.2% to $195 billion, versus a 5.4% increase in the previous year. This reflects slowed growth rates rather than inflation-adjusted reductions, the report says.
Academia and nonprofits will increase funding by 2.2% to $15.4 billion. Research organization Battelle, located in Columbus, Ohio, provides technology development and commercialization services to industry and government.