Battelle/R&D Magazine forecasts real increase in R&D expenditures for 1997

Battelle/R&D Magazine forecasts real increase in R&D expenditures for 1997

Columbus, OH — Following years of stagnation, investments in research and development in the United States will show a real increase in 1997, according to the annual Battelle/R&D Magazine forecast. R&D expenditures in 1997 are expected to increase to about $192 billion, a 4.2 percent increase over the $184 billion the National Science Foundation estimates to have been spent in 1996. Increased R&D support by private industry signals the beginning of a trend that will last into the 21st century, according to the forecast. As noted in previous Battelle/R&D Magazine forecasts, the mood of industry has been changing. This change has come from the realization that while much attention continues to be paid to the relatively short-term payoff of all manner of investments, there is a continuing concern for the establishment and fostering of those activities that will provide the platforms for future growth in technology.

In the past 16 years, the government`s share of R&D support has dropped from 50 percent to about 34 percent, with little indication the trend will be reversed before the end of the century. In fact, several long-term budget proposals suggest that the federal share of R&D will fall considerably in the next six years as a residual of the end of the Cold War and the efforts to balance the federal budget.

The pattern of outsourcing will continue and be augmented by industry`s acquisition of its technological assets. Among these will be a continued effort toward interindustry collaboration on precompetitive research; further emphasis on off-shore outsourcing of research programs, especially in captive laboratories, but to an increasing degree, in independent facilities; the entire practice of industry/government interaction will most likely continue, but will be continuously evaluated from both sides.


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