Science Market Update

Science Research Funding $ Strong from Federal, Venture, and Charitable Sources

Posted by Jaimee Saliba on Wed, Feb 29, 2012

Federal basic and applied science research funding could see an increase of 3.3% over 2012 (enacted) levels, to $64B, if the President's budget request for 2013 is approved.  Holding tight to the promise of supporting technology and innovation while at the same time respecting the deficit cap imposed by Congress, the latest budget request proposes only level $30.7B funding for the NIH but funding increases for the NSF, NIST, and DOE Office of Science, with a combined total of $13.1B. science research funding resized 600

Federal Research by Agency, FY 1995-2013

[Chart courtesy of]

In the venture capital arena, biotech investments were up substantially in 2011, according to recent figures cited by FierceBiotech.  Some highlights of that VC funding news include:

  • Biopharma companies secured $3.5B in 2011, up 16% from the previous year
  • Biotech topped other life sciences sectors such as medical devices, diagnostics and biofuels in total capital raised by a wide margin
  • The funding pool for startups has been strained by record numbers of new companies launched by university-based tech transfer offices focused on building patent portfolios
  • Startup (series A) financing is the most risky and competitive, but even it showed an increase in the fourth quarter

Finally, in the private, philanthropic sector, a widely-published recent report by the Council for Aid to Education states that charitable contributions to colleges and universities rebounded from sluggish years to reach $30.3B last year. Key percentage increases from that report include:

  • An 8.2% overall increase
  • Giving for capital purposes, such as endowments and buildings, increased 13.6%
  • Giving for current operations increased 4.7%


science research funding 2012 resized 600

[Source: Council for Aid to Education, 2012]


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Tags: 2012 Research Funding, 2011 Research Funding, venture development in life sciences, Funding, NIH, new research grants, NSF, charitable giving

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