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TABLE 3-4 Federally and Privately Funded Early-Stage Venture Capital in Millions of Dollars, 1990-2002

Year

Federal SBIR

Federal ATP

Private Early-Stage Venture Capital

1990

461

46

1,148

1991

483

93

826

1992

508

48

1,186

1993

698

60

2,100

1994

718

309

1,581

1995

835

414

2,143

1996

916

19

2,658

1997

1,107

162

3,373

1998

1,067

235

4,700

1999

1,097

110

10,995

2000

1,190

144

20,260

2001

1,294

164

764

2002

NA

156

1,813

NOTES: Federally funded sources include SBIR and ATP. ATP, Advanced Technology Program; NA, not available; SBIR, Small Business Innovation Research. Data reflect disbursements funded publicly through federal SBIR and ATP and privately through US venture capital funds.

SOURCE: National Science Board. Science and Engineering Indicators 2004. NSB 04-01. Arlington, VA: National Science Foundation, 2004. P. 6-31.

Several trends cast doubt on our continuing commitment to the above strategy. The first accompanied the end of the Cold War, when reductions in military funding had the perhaps unintentional effect of cutting basic and applied DOD research budgets. The portion of funding DOD devoted to basic research (the “6.1 account”) declined from 3.3% in fiscal year (FY) 1994 to about 1.9% in FY 200548 (Figure 3-12). Military research funding has gradually shifted from basic and applied research toward the more immediate needs of the combat forces.

Public funding for science and engineering rose through the 1990s, but virtually all of the increase went to biomedical research at NIH. Federal spending on the physical sciences remained roughly flat, and increases for mathematics and engineering only slightly surpassed inflation (Figure 3-13). Funding for important areas of the life sciences—plant science, ecology, environmental research—supported by agencies other than NIH also has leveled off. The lack of new funding for research in the physical sci-

48

National Science Board. Science and Engineering Indicators 2004. NSB 04-01. Arlington, VA: National Science Foundation, 2004.



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