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Promoting Innovation Through R&D

by Steven J. Markovich
November 7, 2012

A scientist uses a microscope to check cultures for signs of the H1N1 swine flu virus and other respiratory diseases at the Maryland Department of Health and Mental Hygiene in Baltimore (Jonathan Ernst/Courtesy Reuters). A scientist uses a microscope to check cultures for signs of the H1N1 swine flu virus and other respiratory diseases at the Maryland Department of Health and Mental Hygiene in Baltimore (Jonathan Ernst/Courtesy Reuters).

Experts agree that research and development (R&D) is the backbone of a globally competitive, knowledge-driven economy. R&D investment helps develop new products and services that drive growth, create jobs, and improve national welfare. For decades the U.S. government and private sector have spent more than any other nation on R&D. But that advantage is eroding as other nations increase public and private R&D investments at a faster rate, causing the global U.S. share of this critical investment to decline.

This Backgrounder examines trends in public and private R&D spending both globally and in the United States.

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