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.