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Overview of California State-Funded R&D, 2004-2007

Release date: November 30, 2008

Research and Development (R&D) funding has undergone significant shifts in pattern over the last several decades. In response to flat or declining federal funding for various R&D efforts, as well as federal policy restrictions on funding for certain areas of research (e.g. stem cell research), states have come to take a more direct role in funding R&D. There exists a variety of indicators tracking R&D spending, but few focus on the state level. The previous most comprehensive assessment of R&D spending in California was CCST's 1999 CREST report.

This project is an update to the 1999 report, incorporating data from a variety of sources including a new survey conducted by the National Science Foundation (NSF) and the U.S. Census Bureau. It explores:

  • Available data on R&D spending by California
  • What is not possible to know with the current data being gathered at the state and federal level
  • Suggested approaches for California to collect additional data needed for a more comprehensive overview of the state's R&D spending

This project was written as part of an overall assessment of the present status and long-term trends affecting California's science and technology infrastructure for the California Innovation Corridor project, funded by a U.S. Department of Labor grant to the state of California and the California Space Authority titled, "Workforce Innovation in Regional Economic Development" (WIRED).

Principal findings:

  • State R&D funding leverages significant amounts of funding from other sources, focusing a much more significant percentage of overall R&D on priorities important to California
  • State R&D funding is focused on areas of importance to California that may not be adequately supported by other sources.
  • State R&D funding fosters collaboration and provides essential input into the innovation process.
  • The state needs to collect more data in a systematic manner, including:
    • A comprehensive list of R&D funding underway, not a representative sampling
    • R&D funding by both program AND institution
    • How much of the state's total R&D funding is influenced by state spending

Updated 2/20/15