Across government, health, industry and all other investors in U.S. research & development, funding has held steady in 2013, with little to no growth in most sectors. However, trends are rising indicating that while total dollars may be stagnant, the purpose and resources of those investments may be of great importance. Studies conducted by Battelle and R&D Magazine as well as IBISWorld project growth in industry specific funding for 2014 and the four years after.
The origination of this money, private corporate funding, implies a greater emphasis on innovation for profit than the R&D industry has seen in the past. These implications are further solidified by the results of a survey which ordered substantiation of success by how individual corporations rank the outcome’s influence on if they invest in the innovation.
Both domestic and multinational corporations ranked publications and patents in their top confirmations of successful R&D, but their other top two results varied. Multinational corporations reported new products to be their number one goal and proof of valuable R&D with patents coming in second followed by profitability and publications. Domestic corporations, however, place publications as their primary result with patents, product quality and productivity coming in at second, third and fourth.
This apparent push for new products, and patentable findings, confirms that the priority of why to spend versus simply the availability of funds truly determines the R&D industry trends. For example, research and development for the chemical industry is expected to grow over the next few years, whose priorities often are focused on developing new formulations for use in consumer products, pharmaceuticals and other industries.