Innovation has always relied, to some degree, on government support. But a recent study suggests that public funding might be even more influential than it seems. “Nearly a third of US patents rely directly on US government funded research,” says Dennis A. Yao, Lawrence E. Fouraker Professor of Business Administration and co-head of the Strategy Unit at Harvard Business School.
The U.S. Department of Education announced today that it invested $540 million to support science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) education, including computer science, through discretionary and research grants in Fiscal Year 2019, in accordance with President Trump's directive to foster expanded opportunities in these in-demand career fields.
The Senate passed a spending bill Oct. 31 that provides $22.75 billion for NASA in fiscal year 2020, but final agreement on funding for agency programs may still be weeks, if not months, away. On an 84–9 vote, the Senate approved a so-called “minibus” appropriations bill that combined several separate measures, including the commerce, justice and science (CJS) bill that funds NASA, NOAA and the National Science Foundation, among other agencies.
The U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) is planning a major initiative to use artificial intelligence (AI) to speed up scientific discoveries. At a meeting here last week, DOE officials said they will likely ask Congress for between $3 billion and $4 billion over 10 years, roughly the amount the agency is spending to build next-generation “exascale” supercomputers.
Examining the effects that Chinese anticorruption campaigns had on government R&D subsidies, the study estimated that the Chinese governments (national, provincial, and local) paid for a whopping 22.2 percent of business R&D in 2015, with 95 percent of Chinese firms in 6 industries receiving government cash—petrochemicals, electronics, metals and materials, machinery and equipment, pharmaceuticals and biotechnology, and information technology.
The Mars science community is concerned that the growing costs of NASA's Mars 2020 rover mission could reduce the funds available for other robotic missions, according to a presentation that took place during a meeting of NASA's Planetary Science Advisory Committee.
The United States continues to fall further behind world leaders in funding for university research. To reverse course, it should increase support by $45 billion per year and provide stronger incentives for businesses to increase their investments.
Black applicants to a prestigious research grant program at the National Institutes of Health are awarded funding at a significantly lower rate than their white peers. The NIH has been intensively investigating this funding gap since a 2011 report revealed the extent of the problem, looking for underlying mechanisms to use as opportunities for corrective intervention.
You can get a lot done in 10 minutes, but try this for speed: A ten-minute shuttle flight between Washington DC and Atlanta. It might sound like the stuff of fiction right now, but a team at Tuskegee University’s College of Engineering hopes to provide tremendous thrust to solving the challenges of hypersonic flight. Each week USBE sheds light on what’s being done in research at colleges and universities–where the research is being conducted, who’s involved, and what they’ve accomplished.
In 2011, a study led by economist Donna Ginther of the University of Kansas in Lawrence found that black applicants were significantly less likely than white applicants to be funded by the National Institutes of Health (NIH). Since then, NIH officials have examined a host of factors that might cause the disparity, from the historical advantages that white men enjoy to overt discrimination by grant reviewers. But the picture remains cloudy.