RealNews

Federal R&D is stagnating, panel says

Despite large gains in defense and biomedical research and development, federal R&D spending has stagnated in many agencies, panelists said yesterday at the Defense Research and Engineering Exposition in Washington. For the proposed fiscal 2004 budget now being finalized by Congress, federally funded R&D spending will come to be about $126 billion, according to Kei Koizumi, R&D budget analyst for the American Association for the Advancement of Science, a professional organization for scientists. The total R&D budget for 2003 totaled $117.3 billion, according to AAAS. If passed, $126 billion would be the largest amount the government has ever dedicated to R&D in one year, Koizumi said. But this figure masks an uneven distribution of funds. More than 95 percent of the increase in R&D spending will go to three agencies: the Defense and Homeland Security departments and National Institutes of Health. Full Story

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