While industry R&D for product development increased by 54.1 percent between 1997 and 2011, progress in basic and applied research by industries was stagnant.
Industry funded R&D reached an all-time high in 2008, hitting $268 billion in total research, before cooling slightly in the wake of the recession. In particular, increases in development are responsible for the rapid growth. More companies are using more resources to design innovative new products to bring to market, which is a boon for the economy.
However, industry investment in basic and applied research has remained static in the last 15 years. Moreover, applied and basic R&D combined represents just 20 percent of all industry R&D in 2011. Most private sector R&D firms are constrained from doing pure research without specific outcomes in mind. Government funded research is much more capable of making initial discoveries and scientific advancements that provided the basis of development-oriented R&D by private firms.