collaborations between the federal and nonfederal funders of research described in this chapter.

THE FEDERAL GOVERNMENT

NIH last conducted a survey of federal support for health R&D in 1999 (NIH, 2004a).1 In that year, total federal spending on health R&D was approximately $15.7 billion, with NIH the top funder at $13.0 billion (83 percent). Other agencies in the Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS), including the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the Food and Drug Administration, spent another $758.0 million. Non-DHHS federal agencies—primarily DOD, the Department of Veterans Affairs, and the Department of Energy—spent an additional $1.8 billion. Table 2-1 lists the agencies and their R&D budget obligations for FY 1997 through FY 1999.

Most of the federal funding of health R&D in 1999 was performed by nonfederal research institutions through extramural grants, cooperative agreements, and contracts, with extramural performers accounting for 76 percent of federal expenditures on health R&D. Of the total $11.9 billion spent on extramural health R&D in 1999, institutions of higher education received $8.3 billion, other nonprofits $2.3 billion, industry $0.9 billion, and state and local governments $141.0 million (NIH, 2004b). The NIH survey does not break out the amounts of these funds that go to basic versus applied research.

In 1999, 61 percent of federal expenditures in these fields were classified as basic research and 39 percent as applied research (the National Science Foundation [NSF] survey does not break out development expenditures by field). The emphasis on basic research was primarily due to NIH, which accounted for nearly 90 percent of all basic research funding in the three fields. NIH is the single largest funder of biomedical and behavioral research, with nearly two-thirds of its funding of research projects and centers supporting basic research. Most of the other agencies are mission oriented and place a greater emphasis on applied research and development. As a group, they spent 37 percent of their funding in these fields on basic research. DOD spends nearly three-quarters of its funding of biomedical and behavioral research on applied projects; basic research accounts for 26 percent.

The picture has no doubt changed since 1999, the first year of the five-year doubling of the NIH budget. For FY 2004, the NIH budget is $28.0 billion,2 and if the other agencies increased funding for health R&D by just 10 percent overall

1  

A survey of federal agency funding of health R&D for the years FY 2000 through FY 2002 (actual) and FY 2003 through FY 2004 (estimated) was in the field while this report was being written. The QRC Division of Macro International Inc., is conducting the survey for NIH.

2  

See www4.od.nih.gov/officeofbudget/FY05pubs/MechanismTotal.pdf.



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