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.
Federal Research by Agency, FY 1995-2013
[Chart courtesy of whitehouse.gov]
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%
[Source: Council for Aid to Education, 2012]
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