R&D Funding:

Foreign Sponsorship of U.S. University Research

RCED-88-89BR: Published: Mar 4, 1988. Publicly Released: Mar 25, 1988.

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Pursuant to a congressional request, GAO provided information on foreign firms' and governments' sponsorship of research and development (R&D) activities at U.S. universities.

GAO found that: (1) foreign funding accounted for $74.3 million, or 1 percent, of the $6.8 billion in total university R&D expenditures; (2) foreign firms accounted for about one-third of that percentage; (3) of the 134 universities reviewed, 107 reported receiving some foreign funds for R&D, with 5 receiving 51 percent of the funds; (4) Japan, the United Kingdom, and West Germany contributed 9.5, 7.0, and 5.6 percent of foreign R&D funds, respectively; and (5) foreign R&D funds were widely distributed across research fields, with geology, agriculture, and medicine R&D receiving the most funds. GAO also found that universities receiving foreign R&D funds generally: (1) did not distinguish between U.S. and foreign companies in accepting or administering R&D funds; and (2) lacked programs to elicit foreign R&D support.

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