Global R&D spending is forecast to grow by 3.7%, or $53.7 billion in 2013 to $1.496 trillion, according to research by analysts at Battelle, Columbus, Ohio, and R&D Magazine, Rockaway, N.J. The largest share of this increase, $22.9 billion, is expected to come from China, which continues its decade-long annual double digit increases in R&D investments.
The watchword heading into 2013 is uncertainty, and the effect on the U.S. research and development enterprise is more unclear than ever. The current economic condition and uneasy prospects for the future combined with a federal government funding projection that could range anywhere from flat to significant declines have limited the prospects for 2013.
With significant fiscal debates ongoing, a detailed discussion of FY 2013 federal R&D funding would be of limited value at this time. Instead we highlight a few key issues and describe how the current budget will likely be developed. For an up-to-date analysis of federal R&D appropriations, we recommend the AAAS R&D Budget and Policy Program.
R&D is generally a long-term investment, building upon the results of previous years' expenditures, leading first to the generation of new knowledge through basic research and ultimately to products and services through applied research, development, and commercialization. These are considered to be functional impacts.
The amount of R&D funded by U.S. academia is forecast to increase by 2.1% in 2013 to $12.7 billion. The amount of R&D performed by U.S. academia (funded by all sources) is expected to increase by 0.4% to $66.6 billion. Both of these values generally are well below 3% or larger range in previous Global R&D Funding Forecasts.
In the following ten pages the Battelle/R&D Magazine team presents information on five key industry segments within the U.S. and global R&D enterprise. These five have been examined over the past two forecasts, allowing us to identify and interpret the underlying trends and drivers of these segments' R&D spending.
Increasing healthcare costs, aging populations, and rising prevalence of chronic diseases are among the factors that will continue to shape the direction of industrial life science R&D in 2013. Technology deployment in healthcare information technology and analytics will also have an increasing impact on research while contributing to efficiency and quality.
Information and communications technology (ICT) continues to evolve into various form factors, platforms, and system configurations. Its expanding applications base includes increasingly high-performance and cloud-based computing systems, a massive infrastructure of mobile communications, global networks of sensing systems, military and defense networks, Internet-based control systems, and many more.
Cost containment will influence aerospace, defense, and security (ADS) R&D, where industry investment is linked to government needs and funding. In the west, large new weapon system development programs will continue to give way to technologies that extend the life of extant platforms. In space-related research, budget constraints at NASA may stimulate additional new private sector investment in the U.S. and abroad.
Private-sector energy R&D covers a diverse portfolio of technologies related to electricity generation and use, exploration and extraction, efficiency, clean and sustainable fuels, and transportation. Energy innovation can be influenced by public-sector policies, research, and funding which complements and stimulates industrial R&D.
Chemicals and advanced materials comprise a broad sector that includes chemicals, catalysts, polymers, metals, ceramics, and nanomaterials—from products sold by the trainload to those that cost hundreds of dollars per gram. It is an innovation-intensive business: for example, the U.S. chemical industry is responsible for over one tenth of all patents filed in the United States.
R&D investments have become highly competitive between nations, with each looking to outspend the others to maintain a competitive edge. This internationalization of R&D now pits the U.S., China, Japan, and the EU against each other to develop breakthrough technologies that can be developed into marketable products that can build their country's export trade.
While strictly categorized as an emerging nation by the IMF, the Federative Republic of Brazil is the world’s fifth largest country in geographic size and population and sixth overall in gross domestic product (GDP). By 2040, Brazil’s economy is forecast to be the fourth largest in the world, behind China, the U.S., and India.
Gross domestic expenditures on R&D (GERD) in the Russian Federation nearly doubled (at constant prices) from 1998 to 2008, one of the highest growth rates at that time. Russia's 2013 R&D is forecast to grow to $38.5 billion, a 4.0% increase over the $37 billion spent in 2012.
India has averaged greater than 7% annual GDP growth since 1997, but the current outlook is unusually uncertain. Real GDP growth for 2012 is expected to be close to 5%, according to the International Monetary Fund (IMF). The IMF's GDP growth forecast for 2013 increases to nearly 6% following various recent reforms. 2013 economic growth is expected to yield R&D spending growth of about 12.2% over that spent in 2012.