Study Shows How Government Funding Boosts Innovation

Stephen Dewhurst highlights a new report from the National Bureau of Economic Research showing that “each $10 million in funding from the National Institutes of Health (NIH) results in 3.1 new private sector patents in the area of research that received funding – or about 1 patent for every 2 NIH grants.”

“This is largely because R&D at companies depends on prior knowledge created by publicly funded science.  Interestingly, the report also notes that about half of these patents are targeted to a different disease than the one addressed by the NIH research –  underscoring the fact that innovation depends on generalizable, fundamental scientific insights.”

“These new findings highlight the enormous importance of government funded science as a driver of private sector innovation and patenting, and underscore the need to grow the NIH budget after over a decade of stagnation.”