Research & development

President’s S&T Council Recommends Restructuring Federal IT R&D Spending

A new report from the President’s Council of Advisors on Science and Technology (PCAST) proposes new categories for IT research investment in the coming years. Federally-funded IT research is currently grouped in eight categories introduced in 1995 for the purposes of budgeting and tracking. PCAST is recommending an overhaul of these categories to reflect the contemporary IT landscape.

NASA director to Congress: Funding NASA is an investment in American industry

NASA administrator Maj. Gen. Charles Bolden issued a stern request to the US Congress today calling legislators to fully fund the agency’s collaboration with private aerospace companies developing a shuttle program to carry American astronauts to the International Space Station.

A partnership to secure and protect the emerging Internet of Things

The National Science Foundation (NSF), in partnership with Intel Corporation, one of the world's leading technology companies, today announced two new grants totaling $6 million to research teams that will study solutions to address the security and privacy of cyber-physical systems. A key emphasis of these grants is to refine an understanding of the broader socioeconomic factors that influence CPS security and privacy.

Mission to build a better battery for space exploration

A research team from the University of Maryland Energy Research Center (UMERC) has been awarded $1 million in NASA funding for its all solid-state battery, a game-changing technology that could potentially power future space missions. The new NASA award moves the UMD battery into the second phase of a three-phase NASA funding process for developing full-scale prototypes of batteries for future space missions.

Business R&D Performance in the United States Increases Over 6% to $323 Billion in 2013

Companies spent $323 billion on research and development performed in the United States during 2013, 6.7% more than the $302 billion spent during 2012. Funding from the companies' own sources was $247 billion during 2012 and $265 billion during 2013, a 7.1% increase. Funding from other sources was $55 billion during 2012 and $58 billion during 2013.

Don’t believe those who tell you American innovation is losing its way

To start with, the evidence that big firms are innovating less is ambiguous at best. The Wall Street Journal calculated that companies in the S&P 500 are spending slightly less (paywall) of their operating cash flow on plants and equipment than they were a decade ago. The National Science Foundation, on the other hand, estimates that R&D intensity—that is, spending on R&D as a percentage of revenue—at large firms has been fairly stable, at around 3%, since 1995, and has even increased at smaller firms.

Ben Bernanke on defense spending, the economy and what military training is worth to employers

Defense spending isn’t as big of a driver for the U.S. economy as it was a few years ago, when U.S. troops were still engaged in wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. But $600 billion a year is still a lot of money, and defense spending remains a major contributor to the economies of some states, such as Virginia and Hawaii. Plus, the Department of Defense funds a lot of research and development, much of which has led to technologies with widespread commercial applications, such as lasers and the Internet.

New grants foster research on food, energy and water: a linked system

In a world where a growing number of people lack food, water and sources of energy, providing these resources has become a challenge. To find new answers, the National Science Foundation (NSF) has funded 17 grants, totaling $1.2 million, to support workshops on the interactions of food, energy and water, or FEW. Additionally, $6.4 million will supplement existing grants, enabling scientists to conduct additional research.

Utah and Pakistan educational institutions team up to solve water issues

The leaders of the University of Utah and Mehran University of Engineering and Technology traded memorandums of agreement Tuesday in the new campus law building, formalizing an academic partnership for water research. "Utah and Pakistan surely share common ground in this sector. We both cope with water scarcity and the need for better ground management," University of Utah President David Pershing said.

NSF invests in interstate collaboration in science and engineering research

The National Science Foundation's Experimental Program to Stimulate Competitive Research (EPSCoR) program has made eight awards, totaling $42 million, aimed at fostering research collaborations among investigators and institutions across 12 states. These eight Research Infrastructure Improvement Track-2 (RII Track-2) awards to consortia of states are expected to build collaborations that improve the research capabilities of EPSCoR jurisdictions, making them competitive at the national and international level.

University of Pennsylvania research, published in Science, helps develop algorithm aimed at improving data mining

Big data sets are important tools for modern science. Mining for correlations between millions of pieces of information can reveal vital relationships or predict future outcomes, such as risk factors for a disease or structures of new chemical compounds. These mining operations are not without risk, however. Researchers can have a tough time telling when they have unearthed a nugget of truth, or what amounts to fool's gold: A correlation that seems to have predictive value, but actually does not because it results from random chance.

NIH dreams of an additional $323 million for Alzheimer's research

Distilled from discussions at a series of NIH meetings and consortia, the new document requests $1.06 billion for Alzheimer’s research in the 2017 fiscal year that begins 1 October. That’s $323.5 million more than the $737 million the president requested in the formal budget request. The new request, which NIH expects to update yearly, identifies 66 separate “milestones” for the Alzheimer’s community, ranging from research projects into the molecular pathogenesis and physiology of Alzheimer’s to new clinical trials, and studies aimed at caregiver support.

Federal Obligations for Science and Engineering R&D at Universities, Colleges

In FY 2013, the federal government obligated $25.9 billion for science and engineering research and development (S&E R&D) at colleges and universities, a decrease of $1.6 billion from FY 2012 (5.7 percent). Eight states (California, New York, Maryland, Pennsylvania, Massachusetts, Texas, North Carolina, and Illinois) each received more than $1 billion in funding during FY 2013, though each state also experienced a decrease from their FY 2012 total.

National network of entrepreneurs shines at White House Demo Day

To help give a more diverse group of inventors, entrepreneurs and researchers the tools they need to bring bold science and engineering ideas to the marketplace, the National Science Foundation (NSF) has formed new public and private partnerships to give a larger community of innovators access to its successful Innovation Corps (I-Corps™) program. This expansion coincides with the first-ever Demo Day at the White House, an event that will showcase talents of innovators and entrepreneurs from across the country.

Warren, Cummings & Gingrich: Increase Federal Investments In Scientific Research

As Warren laid it out, a boost to National Institute of Health (NIH) funding, which she says has seen a 25 percent reduction in real monetary funding since 2003, would produce jobs, keep the country from going bankrupt as remedies are created for high cost diseases currently associated with the elderly, such as dementia and Parkinson’s, and allow Americans to simply live “better lives.” Gingrich said that one of the “most fiscally responsible steps we can take” as a country is to boost research funding for diseases such as Parkinson’s, Alzheimer’s and cancer as the costs associate with treating them soars with the aging population on Medicare.

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