Manufacturing accounts for most of U.S. R&D spending


A report released in October [Business R&D Performance in the United States Tops $300 Billion in 2012] of this year from the National Science Foundation showed that during 2012, companies in manufacturing industries performed $208 billion (69%) of domestic R&D, defined as R&D performed in the 50 states and Washington, D.C. (Business R&D and Innovation Survey). That figure is more than double the R&D spending by nonmanufacturing industries, $94 billion or 31% of total domestic R&D performance.

Most of the funding for these companies' R&D activity was from the companies' own funds (82%). The U.S. federal government was the chief source of outside funding for R&D across all industries (R&D paid for by others). Of the $55 billion paid for by others, the federal government contributed $31 billion, most of which came from the Department of Defense ($25 billion). Aerospace products and parts, professional, scientific, and technical services, and computer and electronic products received 89% of federal government R&D funding. Next among outside funders were foreign companies ($12 billion), including foreign parent companies of U.S. subsidiaries, and other U.S. companies ($11 billion), said the report.

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