Science and R&D

In an economy powered by innovation and technology, more proactive R&D policies are key to success.

University Research Discovers Hard Truths of U.S. Budget Crisis

A report from ITIF says sequestration would leave the United States $511 billion behind in research and development investment, compared with expected growth in spending on research in China.

The Real Cost of the Sequester

March 6, 2013
| Blogs & Op-eds

By continuing to focus on the budget deficit alone, policymakers, advocacy groups, and commissions such as Simpson-Bowles and Domenici-Rivlin miss the broader problems the American economy faces. To ensure our overall economic health, we must address the stagnation of funding for innovation that is necessary to promote new business development, global competitiveness and job growth. Government should be focusing on reducing the investment and the budget deficits together, not implementing sledge-hammer budget cuts that will ultimately make our economy weaker.

Why Private Companies Won't Make Up for Cuts in Government Science Funding

Bloomberg Businessweek
ITIF calculates that the full weight of the research cuts could reduce U.S. gross domestic product by a minimum of $203 billion from now to 2021 and would result in 200,000 job losses this year alone.

The effect of sequestration on research will cost the U.S. economy's GDP about $200 billion by the year 2021.

Because of the key role federal R&D plays in driving U.S. innovation, productivity, and economic growth; we estimate that the projected decline in R&D will reduce GDP by between $203 billion and $860 billion over the nine year period, depending on the baseline used. At $203 billion, the loss is equivalent to taking away from U.S. consumers all the new motor vehicles purchase over six months, over two years of airline travel, or six years of attendance at professional sporting events.

R&D Faces Its Own Fiscal Cliff

MIT Technology Review
The sequester means across-the-board cuts to federal R&D and, barring a grand budget bargain, anemic research budgets in the years ahead.

'Sequester' Harm to Economy? Maybe for Longer Than You Think

The Christian Science Monitor
ITIF's report doesn't argue that federal deficits should be ignored. The sequester originated in federal law as a blunt tool, to ensure that if politicians couldn't agree on a substantial deficit-reduction plan, some spending cuts would be imposed automatically.

U.S. is Falling Further Behind in Research and Development Funding

February 28, 2013
| Blogs & Op-eds

Robust investment in R&D is critical to ensuring a nation’s leadership in science, technology, and innovation. The United States can no longer take its leadership position in any of these categories for granted. While many in Congress understandably do not want to impoverish the next generation of Americans by saddling them with unsustainable debt loads, if they try to address the debt by slashing productive investments in the future, they will end up impoverishing future generations of Americans just the same (and likely worse so). Therefore, Congress and the Administration should commit to restoring the R&D funds imperiled by the current sequestration and to more broadly maintain stable and robust funding for federal R&D, keeping the United States on a path to consistently meet the stated target of investing 3 percent of U.S. GDP in R&D annually.

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