NSF Finds U.S. Invests Less than China in Experimental Development

Dec 9, 2019

by ASME.org

New data released by the National Science Foundation (NSF) shows that while the United States invests more in applied and basic research than any other country dollar-for-dollar, the U.S. falls behind China when it comes to investing in experimental development (R&D). Looking at the most recent data from 2017, NSF reports that the U.S. invests $483 billion in research and development, compared to China’s overall $443 billion. However, when it comes to experimental development investments, China invests $370 billion, almost $70 billion more than the United States.

NSF considers experimental development the “systematic work that draws on knowledge gained from research and practical experience and is directed toward producing new or improving existing products or processes.” China began to heavily increase its investment in experimental R&D around 2000, and surpassed the U.S. as the world leader in total experimental development expenditures around 2010. For a more in-depth look at how the U.S. and China compare, you are invited to view the graphs prepared by NSF by clicking the following link: https://www.nsf.gov/statistics/2020/nsf20304/nsf20304.pdf.

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