After a three-year slide, industry funding for university research and development in science and engineering fields reached an all-time high of $2.3 billion in the 2005 fiscal year. Support rose by 7.7 percent, according to data from the National Science Foundation Survey of Research and Development Expenditures at Universities and Colleges.
The report notes that the increase was enough to stabilize industry's share of total academic R&D funding, which had dropped from a high of 7.4 percent in 1999 to below 5 percent last year. Corporate funding, important to colleges for financial reasons and as a sign that their research has real-world support, accounted for 5 percent of R&D funding in science and engineering in fiscal 2005.
In all, colleges reported research and development expenditures of $45.8 billion in 2005, a 5.8 percent increase from a year earlier and a 50 percent increase from fiscal 2000. (When adjusted for inflation, academic R&D rose by 3 percent in fiscal 2005, the report notes.)
Duke University ($135 million) led the way in industry-financed R&D expenditures, followed by Pennsylvania State University and Ohio State University, as seen in the table below:
Industry-financed R&D expenditures at universities, 2005
|Institution||Total (in 000s)|
|Pennsylvania State U. *||87,928|
|Ohio State U. *||81,423|
|Massachusetts Inst of Technology||72,121|
|U. of Maryland at Baltimore||57,806|
|Purdue U. *||46,571|
|U. of Washington||45,281|
|North Carolina State U.||38,710|
|U. of Texas at Austin||35,045|
|U. of Pennsylvania||34,483|
|U. of California at San Diego||34,259|
|U. of Michigan *||34,191|
|U. of California at San Francisco||34,175|
|Georgia Inst. of Technology *||33,117|
|U. of Arizona||32,914|
|U. of Rochester||31,094|
|U. of South Florida||28,863|
|U. of Texas M.D. Anderson Cancer Center||26, 766|
|U. of Minnesota *||26, 433|
Note: Asterisk indicates all campuses of a university.
Of the 640 institutions surveyed, the top 20 in terms of overall expenditures accounted for nearly one-third of total academic R&D spending. Johns Hopkins University easily outdistanced all other institutions again in 2005, thanks in large part to the $678 million it received for its Applied Physics Laboratory. The University of Michigan drew the second-most funds, and the University of Wisconsin at Madison was third. (A list of the top 20 appears below.)
Federally financed R&D grew by 5.6 percent, which ends what was a trend of double-digit growth in recent years. Federal dollars made up 64 percent of total support, and institutional funds were the second largest source of money, increasing 6.5 percent to $8.3 billion.
The Department of Health and Human Services gave the largest share of federal funding in the 2005 fiscal year ($15.9 billion), mostly in support of the medical and biological sciences. NSF provided the second largest amount of federal funding ($3.5 billion), with most (84 percent) of those funds going toward R&D in engineering and in the biological, computer, environmental and physical sciences.
The medical sciences ($14.9 billion) and biological sciences ($8.8 billion) accounted for roughly half of all research and development money at colleges.
State and local government funding grew by 2.2 percent. The largest percentage increase in funding came from nongovernmental sources (nonprofit organizations and other entities), which gave $3.1 billion, an 8.4 percent spike from the year before.
All Academic R&D Expenditures, 2005 and 2004
|Rank||Institution||2005 total (millions)||2004 total (millions)|
|1||Johns Hopkins U.||1,444||1,375|
|2||U. of Michigan (all campuses)||809||769|
|3||U. of Wisconsin at Madison||798||764|
|4||U. of California at Los Angeles||786||773|
|5||U. of California at San Francisco||754||728|
|6||U. of California at San Diego||721||709|
|8||U. of Washington||708||714|
|9||U. of Pennsylvania||655||597|
|11||Pennsylvania State U. (all campuses)||626||600|
|12||Ohio State U. (all campuses)||609||518|
|13||Cornell U. (all campuses)||607||576|
|14||Massachusetts Inst of Technology||581||543|
|15||U. of California at Berkeley||555||526|
|16||U. of Minnesota (all campuses)||549||526|
|17||U. of California at Davis||547||512|
|19||Washington U. in St. Louis||532||490|
|20||U. of Florida||531||447|