Performance Improvement 2003. National Institute of General Medical Sciences


Measuring Up: Research & Development Counts for the Chemical Industry

This study was undertaken to measure the impact, and return, or payoff, of chemical research and development. Macroeconomic studies have addressed and documented R&D contributions to the nation’s economic growth; this study examined chemical research. Key accomplishments of this study included the development of a measurement that quantified the chemical R&D impact, and a methodology to show linkages between chemical literature citations and science innovation. The study revealed that: (1) every dollar invested in chemical R&D today produced $2 in operating income over six years; (2) the chemical industry’s share of total U.S. R&D had declined from 11 percent in 1956 to 8 percent in 1992; (3) the industry still appeared to be holding strong despite growing globalization; and (4) predictability of government funding was more important to industry than the level of funding. The study concluded that U.S. Chemicals technology was strong and getting better, but it is not the leading technology among economic indicators. Its quality is clearly increasing when compared to foreign-invented Chemical patents, and its science linkage was increasing rapidly, especially when compared to foreign Chemical patents. It was more highly linked to science than other major U.S. technology, except for the Life Sciences, and it was also highly linked to public science and to local science.

FEDERAL CONTACT: Dr. James Onken, 301-594-2762 PIC ID: 7659

PERFORMER: Council for Chemical Research, Washington DC

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