FIGURE 3.2 R&D expenditures as a percentage of gross national product, by country.

Source: National Science Foundation, National Patterns of R&D Resources: 1990,  Final Report. NSF 90-316 (Washington, D.C., 1990), Tables B-18 and nbB-19.

France, and the United Kingdom. The fraction of the GNP represented by total R&D expenditures in the United States has increased by about 27 percent since 1975, while the nondefense R&D fraction has increased by about 25 percent. Thus, the growth in research funding in the United States has exceeded the growth in the GNP. The higher percentage for nondefense R&D in the FRG and Japan seen in Figure 3.2 reflects the fact that these countries have not had to support a defense-related R&D program.

Figure 3.3 shows federally funded research by performer for the years since 1969. It can be seen that the university research community, the main beneficiary of the increase shown in Figure 3.1, has received an additional 2.5 billion constant-year dollars (an increase of over 70 percent) since 1975. Note that the federal government's share has remained steady and at a relatively high level.

Figure 3.4 shows the overall research funding trend for the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) and NSF, the two main funding sources for space physics research. There was a steady funding increase through the 1980s, preceded in the case of NSF by a flat funding profile and in the case of NASA by a somewhat more variable funding profile. The overall inflation-adjusted increase since 1975 has been over 140 percent for NASA and a more modest 30 percent for NSF. Note that by 1990 funding for basic research had reached essentially the same level at both institutions.

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