RESEARCH & DEVELOPMENT (R&D) INVESTMENT BENCHMARKS
The functions served by industrial R&D and government R&D are fairly different. Industrial R&D is generally more geared toward applied research and development, which tends to be shorter-term, more incremental, and results in private benefits. In contrast, public sector R&D is oriented around basic research – fundamental knowledge that underlies innovation – which tends to be higher risk, longer-term, and has much broader and far-reaching societal benefits.
The U.S. federal government is also the primary funder of university-based research, accounting for 51 percent of university R&D expenditures. Federal funding of university-based research has been found to stimulate more new and disruptive technologies than funding from other sources.
The U.S. Share of Global R&D has declined. In 1995, the United States accounted for 38.3 percent of global R&D. As of 2016, the U.S. share had declined to 28.5 percent.This decline is partly due to increasing investments from smaller nations such as Spain, Ireland, Israel, and Norway. But the biggest drivers behind the declining U.S. share of R&D are greater investments by Taiwan, South Korea, and China.