2014 saw a $3.2 billion increase in total federal R&D spending in the United States, up 2.4 percent from 2013, but still $12bn less than the 2010 high, according to National Science Foundation estimates.
A report from the NSF’s National Center for Science and Engineering Statistics said that federal R&D budget authority grew in every area except national defense. Some of the largest gains were in aerospace, which increased by about $500 million, and health, which increased about $1bn. Defense R&D funding fell by about $57m.
2014 was the first year of growth since 2011, the report said. Although total expenditure also fell between 2009 and 2010, the 2009 budget was inflated about $20bn of stimulus spending. Ignoring that, R&D spending was highest in 2010, at just under $149bn. Budget authority slid more than $11bn in 2013, making this year’s gains only a small step back towards previous levels.