Technology Community 
January/February 2001 edition


The Association of University Technology Managers Report

The Association of University Technology Managers (AUTM) has collected data on licensing activities from 190 U.S. and Canadian academic constituency. This includes data from U.S. universities, hospitals, nonprofit research institutions, and patent management as well as from Canadian institutions.

The 1999 AUTM survey shows that in FY 1999 at least 417 new products were introduced from 98 institutions. Academic discoveries licensed to industry were developed into healthcare products, software programs, and agricultural products as well as research regents and tools. These were used by industry and academic institutions for various research, development, and commercial purposes.

The commercialization of academic research resulted in more than $40 billion in economic activity that supported more than 270,000 jobs. The survey reports that in 1999 business activity associated with sales of the developed products generated an estimated $5 billion in tax revenues.

The total research expenditures by the 190 reporting institutions in FY 1999 were $26.8 billion, an increase of 10 percent from the previous year. The sponsored research expenditures funded by the federal government were up by 10 percent from FY 1998, and research expenditures funded by industry were up by 13 percent. The following are other findings of the report.

The full AUTM report is available at


Sixth Year of Unprecedented R&D Growth Expected in 2000

Although research and development (R&D) expenditures have never been more than 3 percent of the United States' economy, R&D has been widely recognized as a key ingredient for economic growth, along with such factors as "education, training, production engineering design and quality control." Though its precise effects have been difficult measure, or sometimes even identify, R&D expenditures continue to be studied by scientific and government communities in efforts to understand and improve the patterns technological change that occur in the economy and society.

Since 1994, R&D in the United States has risen sharply, from $169.2 billion to a projected $264.2 billion in 2000. In "real terms" (adjusting for inflation), that rise has been from $175.9 billion to $249.1 billion in constant 1996 dollars, reflecting an annual real growth rate of 6.0 percent. That increase of $73.2 billion 1996 dollars between 1994 and 2000 is the greatest single real increase for any six-year period in the history of the R&D data series, which begins in 1953. As a component of the economy, that rise might be very surprising, given that the economy overall has also experienced unprecedented growth. Nonetheless, the consistent pattern of R&D growth that appears to emerge is notable, implying a broad-based, increased interest in the promotion of R&D activities.

R&D Performance Patterns

Industry—excluding industry-administered Federally Funded Research and Development Centers (FFRDCs)—is expected to perform 75.4 percent of the Nation’s total R&D in 2000. The projected $199.2 billion in R&D performance by industry represents a 7.4 percent annual increase in real terms over the 1994 level. Of this industrial R&D performance in 2000, 88.2 percent will be supported by industry’s own funds; Federal funding will account for the remaining 11.8 percent. The Federal share of industry’s performance total (excluding industry FFRDCs) has fallen considerably from a high of 31.9 percent in 1987.

Universities and colleges, excluding academically administered FFRDCs, are expected to account for 11.4 percent ($30.1 billion) of national R&D performance in 2000; a real annual increase of 4.0 percent since 1994. The Federal Government is expected to perform 6.7 percent ($17.8 billion) of R&D in 2000, an annual decline in real terms of 0.2 percent over the 1994-00 period. All FFRDCs combined will perform an estimated $9.0 billion of R&D in 2000, or 3.4 percent of the U.S. total. The nonprofit sector is expected to perform $8.2 billion in 2000, or 3.1 percent of the U.S. total.

Funding Patterns

Since 1980, industry has provided the largest share of financial support for R&D, which is projected to reach $179.0 billion in 2000, or 67.7 percent of the total. This funding represents an 8.5-percent increase per year in real terms between 1994 and 2000. Of these funds, nearly all ($175.7 billion in current dollars) will be devoted to R&D performed by industry itself in 2000, with the remainder directed toward academic R&D ($2.2 billion) and R&D performed by other nonprofit organizations ($1.1 billion).

Federal R&D support in 2000 is expected to be $71.2 billion, reflecting a 1.0-percent real increase per year since 1994. The Federal share of support for the Nation’s R&D first fell below 50 percent in 1979, and it remained between 45 and 48 percent until 1988. The share then fell steadily, dropping from 45.1 percent in 1988 to 26.9 percent projected for 2000 (the lowest it has ever been since the start of the time series in 1953).

Universities and colleges, state and local governments, and other nonprofit institutions will provide other R&D funds. These funds, in combination, are expected to reach $14.0 billion in 2000, reflecting a 5.6-percent real increase per year over their 1994 level.

Basic Research Patterns

The amount of basic research conducted as a proportion of R&D varies enormously by sector. From 1970-2000 basic research was between 66.6 and 77.7 percent of all university and college R&D (excluding university and college administered FFRDCs). For industry R&D (excluding industry-administered FFRDCs) it has ranged between 2.8 and 7.8 percent, and for Federal intramural R&D it has ranged between 12.9 and 19.1 percent. This maximum of 19.1 percent for basic research as a percentage of Federal R&D is expected for 2000, reflecting an upward trend that began in 1990.

International R&D Spending

Due to the size of its economy, the United States spends more on R&D than any other country, though it does not spend as high a proportion of its economy on R&D as some other countries. For example, in 1998, the most recent year for which comparable international data are available, the United States spent 2.59 percent of its GDP on R&D, compared to 3.06 percent spent by Japan. It exceeded, however, the shares of 2.18 percent by France, 2.29 by Germany, 1.83 by the United Kingdom, 1.64 by Canada, and 1.02 by Italy. Non-defense R&D as a percent of GDP was 2.2 for the United States in 1998, which was equal to that of Germany (2.2); lower than that for Japan (3.0); and higher than that for France (2.0), the United Kingdom (1.6), Canada (1.6), and Italy (1.0). In the 1990s the proportion of R&D devoted to defense-related activities has declined for nearly all of the group of seven countries, with the possible exception of Japan (though, for Japan, the proportion of R&D that is defense-related has continued to remain relatively small).

[Source: National Science Foundation, Division of Science Resources Studies. Data Brief. November 29, 2000. Authors: Steven Payson and John Jankowski.]

Headlines from the January/February edition of Technology Community

Page 3 Congress Passes Bill Increasing High Tech Visas
Page 4 OUT IN FRONT --Colorado Solar Technology Company Receives $1 MM Award
Page 5 NASA Awards Future Space Projects 
Page 6 ABOUT TOWN -- OEDIT Exhibits in Germany
Page 7 COLUMNS & NEWS --RVC Column
Page 8 CPIA and CU-BAC Columns
Page 9 CEBA Column and T2S Column
Page 10 R&D FUNDING -
-New Report Challenges Assumptions About What the Internet Means to the Public
Page 11 TIPS & TREASURES -- Robotic Industry Trade Group Launches Web Site


Any technology organization or company is invited to submit brief articles via fax or e-mail to:
CU Business Advancement Center,
5353 Manhattan Cir., Suite 202, Boulder, CO 80303.
Phone (303) 554-9493 ext. 13 Fax (303) 554-9605
Karen Eye

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