University R&D Spending Increases

Mark Marich

New data from the National Science Foundation shows that the amount spent by U.S. universities on research and development reached $61.2 billion in 2010--an increase of 6.9% from the previous year.

Of the $61.2 billion spent on academic R&D in FY 2010, 67% was categorized as basic research, 25% as applied research, and 9% as development. Life sciences continues to be the dominant focal point with $34.9 billion—nearly four times as much as the next largest field, engineering.

The top academic institution overall, The Johns Hopkins University, accounted for $2 billion in medical, science and engineering research. It marks the 32nd consecutive year that the Baltimore-based school has led the nation in R&D spending. The University of Michigan finished second with $1.18 billion in expenditures—marking the second straight year and 12th time in 26 years it has taken top honors among the nation’s public universities and colleges. Rounding out the top five were: University of Wisconsin (Madison); University of Washington (Seattle); and, Duke University. California schools dominated the bottom half of the top ten with four of the next five slots: University of California, San Diego; University of California, Los Angeles; University of California, San Francisco; Stanford University; and, University of Pennsylvania.

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