The Value of Government Research Dollars

In an attempt to stop the steady decline of public funding for science, the Academy of Radiology Research has shown Congress just how much the country gains from the government’s research money.

According to the science research institute Battelle, every $100 million invested in research by the National Institutes of Health (N.I.H) produces close to six patents. Every $100 million at the National Science Foundation produces more than 10 patents. That same amount of investment dollars at the National Institute of Biomedical Imaging and Bioengineering, which finances research in radiology, generates nearly 25 patents. In return, these patents created $578.2 million of further R&D down the road.

“N.I.H research has helped lower the burden of disease, and people in both parties recognize its importance,” said Jonathan Lewin, chairman of the department of radiology at Johns Hopkins University and head of the academy of radiology, according to The New York Times. “We decided to look at the economic value of our research to make the argument about this value, too.”

Today, the National Institutes of Health budgets are 20% less than they were 10 years ago.

The government’s investment in research produces a plethora of social benefits; a strong economy, more jobs, improved public health, and high quality universities. There is no doubt that science is a public good.

The Academy of Radiology Research is hoping that their study will assist in prioritizing funding and serve as a wake up call.

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