Research & development

U.S. Business R&D Highly Concentrated in a Few States

About 70 percent of 2011 U.S. business R&D spending occurred in 10 states, according to a report from the National Center for Science and Engineering Statistics (NCSES). California leads the country in overall business R&D, and nearly every top industry.

Researchers Develop Transparent Solar Concentrator That Could Cover Windows, Electronics

This technology could mean that one day entire skyscrapers might be able to generate solar power without blocking out light or ruining tenants' views. The material works by absorbing light in the invisible spectrum (ultraviolet and near infrared) and then re-emitting it in the infrared.

Developing-World Collaboration

The NSF and USAID are funding 39 research projects "that advance the scientific and technical capacity of both the United States and countries in critical areas of development" -- chiefly Africa, Asia, and Latin America.

U.S. Invests $67 Million to Advanced Nuclear Technology

Building on President Obama’s Climate Action Plan and the Administration’s efforts to expand clean energy innovation, the Energy Department announced today nearly $67 million in nuclear energy research and infrastructure enhancement awards.

U.S. details plans for car-to-car safety communications

After more than a decade of research into car-to-car communications, U.S. auto safety regulators took a step forward today by unveiling their plan for requiring cars to have wireless gear that will enable them to warn drivers of danger.

Governor Jindal and LSU President Announce Creation of Cyber Research Center

Today, Governor Bobby Jindal and LSU President and Chancellor F. King Alexander announced the creation of the LSU Transformational Technology and Cyber Research Center, which will pursue major federal and commercial research projects in applied technology fields.

High-risk brain research wins NSF backing

On 18 August, the NSF awarded 36 grants totalling US$10.8 million to projects studying topics ranging from electrodes that measure chemical and electrical signals to artificial-intelligence programs that can identify brain structures.

Researchers decry limits on drones

“Aircraft are being defined so broadly that it leaves no space for innovation,” said Paul Voss, an associate professor of engineering at Smith College in Northampton and coordinator of a protest letter signed by nearly 30 researchers, including professors from Boston University and Harvard. “If you go to Walmart and buy a 15-inch remote-controlled helicopter and use it for fun, it’s a toy,” Voss said. “If you use it for education or research from 4 feet off the grass, it’s an unmanned aircraft system.”

The Temporarily Shrinking Deficit

A congressional research service report predicts a return to a widening deficit and a level of debt that economists consider unsustainable. The first chart below shows the budget gap over the decades. The second shows historical and projected discretionary spending, including most federal R&D.

National Science Foundation Awards Six Grants for Climate Research

Grants from the National Science Foundation can help spur research in critical areas and increase interest in science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) fields. The organization's latest round of grants, given to six universities across the country, may also support ways to combat or adapt to climate change.

Harvard Scientists Devise Robot Swarm That Can Work Together

To give robots that kind of hive intelligence, Dr. Rubenstein and his colleagues developed a programming formula that allowed a very large group of robots to find each other and collaborate on a task, without requiring detailed moment-to-moment instructions.

Sen. Durbin and UChicago scientists discuss need for increased biomedical research funding

Durbin has been concerned about the steady erosion of America’s leadership role in biomedical research, prompting the sponsorship of the American Cures Act, which seeks $150 billion over 10 years to support research leading to improved treatment of disease and better quality of life for Americans.

Universities chase big defense dollars

“In the defense space, it’s been our experience that it’s a lot of the engineering schools that lobby,” he said, noting that technology, cybersecurity and munitions were also big fields for colleges. He said his work for university clients is “almost exclusively” related to research-and-development issues.

Senator Murray and NIH Director Collins Discuss Importance of Investing in Health Research and Innovation in Seattle

Yesterday, Senator Murray visited the University of Washington's South Lake Campus with Dr. Francis Collins, Director of the National Institutes of Health to discuss the importance of continued investment in biomedical research and innovation to continue global leadership in the field, improve public health, and ensure that the U.S. workforce in the field grows.

Sources of Federal Research Money (2011)

The charts below (dollar figures, in thousands) offer a useful indication of the number of agencies contributing to the federal government's $10 billion research tab in engineering. The top chart shows a breakdown of the total engineering research obligations by discipline.



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