United States Government Stewardship Information (Unaudited) for the Years Ended September 30, 2010, and 2009
Research and Development
Federal investments in Research and Development (R&D) comprise those expenses for basic research, applied research, and development that are intended to increase or maintain national economic productive capacity or yield other future benefits.
- Investments in basic research are for systematic studies to gain knowledge or understanding of the fundamental aspects of phenomena and of observable facts without specific applications toward processes or products in mind.
- Investments in applied research are for systematic studies to gain knowledge or understanding necessary for determining the means by which a recognized and specific need may be met.
- Investments in development are the systematic use of the knowledge and understanding gained from research for the production of useful materials, devices, systems, or methods, including the design and development of prototypes and processes.
With regard to basic and applied research, HHS had $19.1 billion (61 percent) and $13.0 billion (50 percent), of the total basic and applied research investments, respectively, in fiscal year 2010 as shown in Table 11. HHS also had similar R&D investment amounts (and percentage contributions) in each of the preceding 4 years.
Within HHS, the National Institutes of Health (NIH) conducts almost all (98 percent) of the Department´s basic and applied research. The NIH Research Program includes all aspects of the medical research continuum, including basic and disease-oriented research, observational and population-based research, behavioral research, and clinical research, including research to understand both health and disease states, to move laboratory findings into medical applications, to assess new treatments or compare different treatment approaches, and health services research.
The NIH regards the expeditious transfer of the results of its medical research for further development and commercialization of products of immediate benefit to improved health as an important mandate.
With regard to development, the DOD and NASA had $65.3 billion (84 percent) and $9.1 billion (12 percent), respectively, of total development investments in fiscal year 2010, as shown in Table 11. Development is comprised of five stages: advanced technology development, advanced component development and prototypes, system development and demonstration, management support, and operational systems development. Major outputs of DOD development are:
- Hardware and software components, and complete weapon systems ready for operational and developmental testing and field use, and
- Weapon systems finalized for complete operational and developmental testing.
NASA development programs include activities to extend our knowledge of Earth, its space environment, and the universe, and to invest in new aeronautics and advanced space transportation technologies that support the development and application of technologies critical to the economic, scientific, and technical competiveness of the United States. Some outcomes and future outcomes of this development are:
- The Earth Science Research Program improves the capability to document the global distribution of a range of important environmental parameters related to the Earth´s atmosphere, hydrosphere, biosphere, cryosphere, and land surface; to understand the processes that drive and connect them; and to improve our capability to predict the future evolution of the Earth system, including climate, weather, and natural hazards.
- Earth Systematic Missions provide Earth observing satellites that contribute to the provision of long-term environmental data sets that can be used to study the evolution of the Earth system on a range of temporal scales. This information is used to analyze, model, and improve understanding of the Earth system.
- The Mars Exploration program has been developed to conduct a rigorous, incremental, discovery-driven exploration of Mars to determine the planet´s physical, dynamic, and geological characteristics, investigate the Martian climate in the context of understanding habitability, and investigate whether Mars ever had the potential to develop and harbor any kind of life.
- The Cosmic Origins missions explore how the expanding universe grew into a grand, cosmic web of galaxies; how stars and planets formed within the galaxies; how stars created the heavy elements, such as carbon, that are essential for life. Major breakthroughs in our knowledge of the cosmos have already been made with the current suite of missions.