If current R&D investment continues at the current level, the R&D investment deficit will grow to $2.6 trillion by 2021.
If federal R&D investment had been sustained at the 1960-1980 level, in terms of an average share of GDP, these investments would be approaching $230 billion annually today, rather than the current levels of roughly $150 billion. Our robust investment in R&D in the 1960s, 70s and 80s fueled our post-war prosperity and helped set the stage for the IT revolution, advances in biotech and pharmaceuticals and the creation of millions of jobs and companies in the 1990s. Today, however, we are shortchanging down payments on innovation and Congressional budget cutters are poised to pare back these investments even more. What we don't do today will dictate what we can't do tomorrow.