The initial federal research investment is small. Eighty percent of the companies in the report cited less than $5 million as the amount of federal funding received for their foundational work. For 40 percent of companies, this amount was less than $1 million. The 102 companies highlighted are predominantly small businesses, like most companies in the United States. Sixty-five percent of companies have fewer than 100 employees. Yet, the companies collectively employ 8,900 people.
NCSES reported that within the R&D total, research obligations -- a category of transactions including orders placed, contracts awarded and services received -- increased by 1 percent to $63.6 billion. At the same time, development funding fell by 4 percent to $64.9 billion and R&D plant rose a substantial 27 percent to $2.8 billion.
According to the latest annual survey conducted by the National Science Foundation (NSF), the federal government funded less than half of all basic research in the country for the first time since World War II. As for whether this is a good thing, it depends on who you ask.
The National Weather Service would have to boost research -- including some from private companies -- to improve forecasts and storm warnings under a bill headed to the president's desk. Lawmakers said the bill should save lives by giving residents more time to prepare for hurricanes, tornadoes and other deadly storms.
Some have reacted to President Trump’s proposed budget by claiming that it severely reduces funding for science, yet the net impact isn’t likely to dramatically change the overall level of research and development (R&D) funding. Instead, the budget blueprint would likely shift the mix of funding at the federal level, away from basic research and into applied research and development.
At a Senate hearing, appropriations subcommittee members stressed the importance of sustaining federal investment in STEM education programs during a time of uncertainty for education funding.
While overall science funding was slashed substantially in the outline of President Trump's budget sent to Congress, the scientists gathered in The Woodlands for the 48th Lunar and Planetary Science Conference received an upbeat message from NASA officials in a briefing Monday evening. "The budget is incredibly good," said Jim Green, director of the Planetary Science Division at NASA headquarters. "NASA fared incredibly well."
The Department of Labor announced the availability of a grant for organizations to teach STEM skills to native youth and young adults in Hawaii and Alaska. The DOL announced on March 9 that it has $497,000 to give to organizations that will help native youth develop skills needed for in-demand occupations and industries.
Congress wants NASA to get to Mars, and they just gave them $19.5 billion to do it. The NASA Authorization Act of 2017 is focused on transforming NASA back into the great scientific organization it was during the Apollo Program. The bill authorizes NASA programs like the Space Station, deep space exploration, and asteroid redirect missions for 2017. Also included in the bill is a mandate for human space travel to Mars in 2033.
For the first time in the post-World War II era, the federal government no longer funds a majority of the basic research carried out in the United States. Data from ongoing surveys by the National Science Foundation (NSF) show that federal agencies provided only 44% of the $86 billion spent on basic research in 2015. The federal share, which topped 70% throughout the 1960s and ’70s, stood at 61% as recently as 2004 before falling below 50% in 2013.