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Battelle and R&D Magazine: 2011 Global R&D Funding Forecast

Battelle and R&D Magazine expect total global research and development funding to grow in 2011, but geographic spending distribution will shift.

Outlook for R&D in 2011 is stable and positive, according to a report from the Battelle Memorial Institute and R&D Magazine. The United States expects R&D growth to resemble that of GDP, and the majority of Asian countries are remaining committed to R&D spending.

Global R&D spending is expected to grow 3.6 percent to nearly $1.2 trillion. But geographic distribution of spending will shift. The report finds that U.S. R&D spending will drop from 34.7 percent of total global spending in 2009 to 34 percent in 2011. Meanwhile, spending in China will rise from 11.2 percent in 2009 to 12.9 percent in 2011, and Indian spending will increase from 2.5 percent in 2009 to 3 percent in 2011.

In the United States, defense-related spending may be cut first due to federal budget pressures. Defense R&D spending accounts for more than two-thirds of the federal total. But the report does not expect defense cuts to affect science and technology work by organizations such as the National Institutes of Health (NIH) and the U.S. Department of Energy's Office of Science.

European R&D funding will be challenged by the shaky economies of Greece, Spain, and Ireland. According to a Washington Post article, "The pressure on European science . is yet another legacy of the financial crisis."

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