many other factors, the rise in interdisciplinary research, with its focus on large-scale problems that require a variety of techniques, demands more advanced instrumentation. As a result,

  • The need for particular instruments has broadened, crossing scientific and engineering disciplines.

  • Instruments that were once of interest only to specialists are required by a wide array of scientists to solve critical research problems.

  • The need for new types of instruments—such as distributed networks, cybertools, longitudinal surveys, and sensor arrays—is increasing.

  • Researchers have become increasingly dependent on advanced instruments that require highly specialized knowledge and training for their proper use and greatest effectiveness.

F1-2: According to the 2003 NSB infrastructure report, over $9 billion will be required in FY 2003-2012 for infrastructure projects that each cost between $1 million and $50 million.


F1-3: According to the 2004 NSB S&E indicators report, the share of research equipment expenditures funded by the federal government declined from about 62% to 55% from 1983 to 2001.


F1-4: The funds spent for academic research equipment on the average over the last 5 documented years (1997-2001) were concentrated in three fields: life sciences (41%), engineering (23%), and physical sciences (18%), according to the 2004 NSB S&E indicators report.


F1-5: Because federal agencies use different metrics to track their expenditures, it is difficult to make quantitative comparisons of agency investments in instrumentation. However, it is clear that NIH devotes a much smaller fraction of its research budget to instrumentation than NSF does.



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