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US states’ R&D spending up 7%

Expenditures on research and development by US states rose 7 per cent between 2007 and 2009, with the largest spending in environment and natural resources R&D, according to a study by the National Science Foundation.

The study shows five states—California, New York, Ohio, Pennsylvania, and Florida—continue to account for nearly half of all state agency R&D expenditure. The same states also topped the list in 2007.

The study, released on 2 August, was undertaken by the NSF’s National Centre for Science and Engineering Statistics.

It presents nationwide and state-by-state totals of R&D activities performed and funded by state departments, agencies, and commissions in each of the 50 states and the District of Columbia.

It found state agency expenditure rose from $1.1 billion in fiscal year 2007 to $1.2bn in FY2009. In addition, it also shows spending of $103 million on R&D facilities in FY2009, a 2 per cent increase over the $101m reported in FY2007. It is unclear whether any of the figures were adjusted for inflation.

Though it varied considerably by state, environment and natural resource R&D projects accounted for most (26 per cent) of expenditure, followed by health (23 per cent), transportation (20 per cent), and agriculture (6 per cent). Of the FY2009 spend, 77 per cent ($935m) went to applied R&D and 23 per cent ($276m) supported basic research.

Total levels of spending by state agencies ranged from $0.5m in the District of Columbia to $147m in California.

It is the first time survey data have been made available for individual state agencies and the first time state agencies have classified their R&D according to category.

Separately, the NSF also released figures for federal R&D funding for 2010 to 2012. Including spending on R&D facilities, the actual FY2010 budget was $149bn, the preliminary FY2011 budget was $143bn and the proposed FY2012 budget is $148bn.