Universities and Colleges
Outlook and Conclusions
Tables and Charts
1: Federal R&D in PA Appendices
|The Future of Science
and Technology in Pennsylvania:
Trends and Indicators
Center for Science, Technology, and
The AAAS Board of Directors, in accordance with Association policy, has approved publication of this report as a contribution to the understanding of an important process. The interpretations and conclusions are those of the authors and do not purport to represent the views of the Board or the Council of the Association.
This project is funded by grants from the Carnegie Corporation
of New York and the Burroughs Wellcome Fund. Carnegie Corporation and Burroughs
Wellcome are not responsible for any statements or views expressed in this
In 1996, the AAAS Center for Science, Technology, and Congress undertook an effort to produce a series of state and regional profiles of research and development (R&D) with an emphasis on the impacts of federal R&D spending. The goal of this project is to help state, local, and federal policymakers and opinion leaders, as well as members of the research community, better understand and appreciate the scope and importance of R&D in their state or region, and especially the current and future contributions of federal funding. The first of the reports was published in May 1996. Subsequent reports have covered nearly half of the 50 United States. This, the ninth in the series, covers Pennsylvania, ninth in the nation in terms of the size of its federal R&D enterprise.
When this series began, the U.S. research community was facing sharp declines in R&D spending in coming years, due to efforts to balance the federal budget. At this writing, in February 1998, things look considerably brighter. Stronger economic growth, coupled with fiscal discipline, low interest rates, and slower growth in entitlements, has nearly brought the federal budget into balance several years earlier than expected. Rather than a one-third reduction in nondefense R&D over seven years, as was projected in the congressional budget resolution of mid-1995, Congress and the President are now proposing scenarios calling for significant increases in R&D spending. Understanding the role that R&D plays in a state or region’s economy and its importance for the future of that state or region as well as for the nation as a whole is no less critical in good budgetary times than it is in difficult times. The prospect of reduced federal funding for research, although diminished, has not disappeared. The ability of the research community to compete for limited resources – and they are limited even in the best of times – depends on an informed public and on decision-makers who understand the value of research. This report is intended to contribute to the knowledge base that supports such an understanding.
In gathering information for The Future of Science and Technology in Pennsylvania: Trends and Indicators, we used the most recent data available from the National Science Foundation (NSF). Because of the complexity of collecting information on a state-by-state basis, especially with regard to industry spending, the most recent NSF data detail obligations from FY 1995. We have augmented the NSF data with additional research and with projections of future government spending based on outyear funding projections from the President’s FY 1999 budget request and the balanced budget agreement. The report provides a statistical portrait of Pennsylvania’s R&D activity; examines the distribution of federal R&D within the state; discusses university-based research, federal laboratories, and industry-based research; and assesses the potential future impacts of trends in R&D spending.
We would like to thank the Carnegie Corporation of New
York and the Burroughs Wellcome Fund for supporting the AAAS Center for
Science, Technology, and Congress, as well as Kei Koizumi and Bob Rich
for providing the statistical data, Kimberly Loui for researching and preparing
this report, and Matt Zimmerman for his editorial assistance.
Pennsylvania has a special place in American history. It was home to William Penn, Betsy Ross, and Benjamin Franklin, one of the fathers of American innovation. The Declaration of Independence was signed in Philadelphia, and Pennsylvania is also the site of the first university in the thirteen original states. Today thoughts of Pennsylvania include images of heavy, smokestack industries such as coal and steel, and of towns suffering from the decline of these industries in the latter half of the twentieth century. Such images, however, belie the significant contribution that Pennsylvania makes to our nation’s science and technology enterprise.
Pennsylvania is one of the top recipients of federal R&D funding in the nation, receiving $2.45 billion in FY 1995. This represents 3.5 percent of the federal government’s total funds for R&D in that year. This places Pennsylvania ninth among the 50 states and the District of Columbia as a recipient of federal R&D funding. The make-up of Pennsylvania’s science and technology enterprise includes a diverse private sector, a strong university research system, numerous federal laboratories, and non-profit institutions. All these groups participate in research that encompasses a broad range of scientific disciplines.
In Pennsylvania, industry plays a vital role in scientific and technological research. Industrial firms received $1.25 billion in federal funds for R&D activities in the state in FY 1995. This accounted for 51 percent of the state’s total federal R&D obligations in FY 1995. Industrial firms are also major sources of R&D funds, providing $5.1 billion of their own funds in R&D expenditures in that same year, mostly for research in their laboratories. Pennsylvania is home to some industrial heavy-hitters, including Bethlehem Steel Corporation, the Aluminum Company of America (Alcoa), Northrop Grumman, Lockheed Martin Corporation, the Boeing Company, USX Corporation, ARCO Corporation, the Bayer Company, SmithKline Beecham, and Merck and Company. This list illustrates a diverse industrial R&D community that spans the steel, aerospace, energy, chemical, and biotechnology sectors.
Pennsylvania’s universities also contribute to the nation’s research enterprise. After private industry, universities and colleges in the state receive the second-largest piece of the federal R&D pie that goes to the state. In FY 1995, these institutions received a total of $718 million (or 30 percent) of the state’s total federal R&D funds.
Five of Pennsylvania’s universities are among the top 100 university recipients of federal R&D funds; four are in the top 50. In FY 1995, the University of Pennsylvania ranked 12th ($203 million), the University of Pittsburgh ranked 17th ($171 million), Pennsylvania State University was 22nd ($153 million), Carnegie Mellon University came in 45th ($81 million), and Thomas Jefferson University made the list in 76th place ($48 million).
Together, Pennsylvania’s industrial firms and universities account for over 80 percent of the state’s federal R&D obligations. Of the federal agencies that support R&D within the state, the Department of Defense (DOD) is the primary source. In FY 1995, it provided $1.15 billion in federal R&D funding, the majority of which went to the industrial sector. Federal laboratories received the second-largest amount of DOD funding ($126 million), and universities third ($112 million).
The Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), which includes the National Institutes of Health (NIH), places second as a source of federal R&D funds to the state, providing $569 million in FY 1995. HHS is by far the most important source of federal R&D funds for Pennsylvania’s institutions of higher education, providing almost 80 percent ($453 million) of these funds in FY 1995. DOD was second with $112 million going to support university research, followed by the National Science Foundation (NSF) with $94 million.
The Department of Energy (DOE) is the third-largest sponsor of federally funded research in the state, providing $462 million in FY 1995. Of that amount, 77 percent ($358 million) went to support research in Pennsylvania’s industrial sector. Federal laboratories place second as a recipient of DOE funding, and universities and colleges are third.
NSF, the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA), and the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) round out the list of Pennsylvania’s sources of federal R&D funds. NSF provided $126 million in FY 1995, the majority of which went to universities and colleges. NASA provided $55 million, mainly to industrial firms, and the USDA provided $52 million, the largest share of which went to support research within federal laboratories.
Federal laboratories in Pennsylvania receive a relatively small portion of the state’s federal R&D funds, with obligations of only $228 million in FY 1995. This accounts for slightly more than 3 percent of the national total (see Table 1). Though the number of laboratories may not be large, they represent a diverse collection of defense, energy, and agriculture R&D activities that support important national goals.
The Department of Defense (DOD) sponsors the largest amount of funding for federal lab research in Pennsylvania, obligating $126 million in FY 1995. Much of that goes to support the Naval Surface Warfare Center in Philadelphia for R&D in acoustics and electrical power systems. Research in these fields was realigned as part of DOD’s Base Realignment and Closure (BRAC) exercise. Philadelphia was also the location of a large Navy shipyard on the Delaware River which closed as part of the BRAC process. The shipyard was purchased by a European commercial shipbuilding company and is expected to reopen soon.
The Pittsburgh Energy Technology Center (PETC) is one of the nation’s principal government laboratories devoted to the development of new, environmentally clean fossil energy technologies. PETC explores new fossil fuel concepts, and conducts R&D aimed at improving the environmental acceptability of the nation’s coal supply. Facilities at PETC include the National Coal Preparation Process Research Facility, the Combustion and Environmental Research Facility, the Particulate Flow Analysis Facility, and the Hydrocarbon Direct Conversion and Upgrading Facility. In addition to serving as a laboratory, PETC is one of DOE’s principal fossil energy field offices, managing nearly $2 billion in grants, contracts, and cooperative agreements. The Cooperative R&D Agreement (CRADA), a technology transfer mechanism, has been key in increasing it’s industry, foundation, and university interaction. An example of government and industry partnership is the Clean Coal Technology program that aims to move new, cleaner coal concepts to the marketplace.
The USDA supports two Agricultural Research Service (ARS) laboratories in the state. The Eastern Regional Research Center (ERRC) is located near Philadelphia and conducts basic and applied research to improve nutritional levels, safe consumption, and processing of by-products of a variety of agricultural commodities. ERRC research units include dairy products, engineering science, food safety, plant science and technology, microscopic imaging, and magnetic resonance spectroscopy among others. The other ARS lab located in Pennsylvania is the Pasture Systems and Watershed Management Research Lab located on Penn State University’s campus (see page 17). In FY 1995, USDA provided $29 million to support research in its labs in Pennsylvania.
The National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) supports a research laboratory in Pittsburgh to conduct mining health and safety research. The NIOSH Pittsburgh laboratory is one of only two such research facilities focusing in this field within the United States; the other is in Spokane, WA. The Pittsburgh laboratory conducts basic and applied research in worker health and safety, and disaster prevention.
NASA supports a Regional Technology Transfer Center (RTTC) at the University of Pittsburgh called the Mid-Atlantic Technology Applications Center (MTAC). MTAC is one of six RTTCs supported by NASA nationwide, and serves a five state region that includes Pennsylvania, Maryland, Virginia, West Virginia, and Delaware. Though not a research laboratory, MTAC’s purpose is to increase the effectiveness of NASA’s technology commercialization program. It assists private-sector firms in locating, assessing, and acquiring technologies developed by the federal government.
Finally, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) operates a National Weather Service facility in Pittsburgh that conducts atmospheric measurements and research.
Pennsylvania’s private sector is an interesting array of companies that represent the past and the future. Many of these firms are household names that conduct cutting-edge research and represent a vital presence in R&D. As an example, in calendar year 1995, Pennsylvania firms spent a total of $5.1 billion of their own funds on R&D. These firms are also important recipients of federal R&D funds, accounting for 51 percent ($1.25 billion) of federal support for R&D in Pennsylvania (see Table 1).
Building upon its past, Pennsylvania’s industrial strength lies in steel, coal, and chemical processing, as well as in manufacturing. However, the state’s science and technology community has also expanded its portfolio for the future to include aerospace and biotechnology firms. In the aerospace arena, Pennsylvania has a portion of some major contracts, including the F-22 fighter aircraft, the RAH-66 Comanche helicopter, and the International Space Station. This diversity may be the key to protecting Pennsylvania’s future interests.
DOD provides the majority of the federal R&D funds to industry with $828 million (66 percent) obligated in FY 1995. Pennsylvania companies receiving the largest contracts from DOD in FY 1995 were Westinghouse Electric Corporation which is now a part of Northrop Grumman Corporation, the Boeing-Sikorsky Comanche Team, and Lockheed Martin Corporation. DOE ($358 million), and NASA ($35 million) round out the list of federal agencies that support R&D in the private sector.
Aerospace and Defense. Northrop Grumman (formerly Westinghouse) receives significant support from both DOD and DOE. Northrop Grumman’s Science and Technology Center in Pittsburgh aims to develop new, state-of-the-art technologies for its operating units. The Center has numerous departments that focus on energy-related research, including the Advanced Electromechanical Systems Department, the Advanced Materials Technologies Department, the Advanced Fossil Energy Technologies Department, and the Energy Systems Technologies Department. The Center also includes the Solid Oxide and Fuel Cell Power Generation Department, the largest program of its kind. DOE provided the program with $17 million in FY 1995 for development of a modular, highly efficient technology that converts fossil fuels directly to electricity.
Northrop Grumman’s Government and Environmental Services supports U.S. defense capabilities throughout the country. In Pittsburgh, the Naval Nuclear Services division performs research, development, and design in propulsion systems for the Navy’s nuclear-powered fleet. In Cheswick, the Electro-Mechanical Division (EMD) produced motor pumps for the world’s first nuclear-powered submarine, and has always had commercial nuclear power and defense as its base. Recently, however, EMD has branched out and developed a hazardous material process pump for DOE.
The Boeing-Sikorsky RAH-66 Comanche helicopter is the centerpiece of the U.S. Army’s aviation modernization plan. Team Comanche consists of 17 major aerospace manufacturers, including Boeing Rotocraft in Philadelphia. Boeing is responsible for Mission Equipment Package integration, flight controls, and the supportability system. In FY 1995, the Boeing-Sikorsky Comanche Team received over $372 million from DOD. During the development phase, which began in 1995, and is scheduled to end in 2003, the RAH-66 program is projected to consume 4.4 percent of the U.S. Army’s research, development, and acquisition budget.
Lockheed Martin, whose Pennsylvania units received more than $266 million from DOD in FY 1995, is one of the world’s largest aerospace and defense contractors. Part of Team Comanche, Lockheed Martin has control over the Night Vision Pilotage System and Target Acquisition/Designation System. Lockheed Martin Systems Support and Training Services, located in Horsham, is part of the company’s Services Group. Lockheed Martin Management and Data Systems (M&DS), located in King of Prussia, is part of the company’s Systems Integration Group. M&DS focuses on software development, particularly the design and development of sophisticated command, control, and information systems.
SPS Technologies, located in Jenkintown, is a subcontractor to NASA’s International Space Station project. However, SPS benefits mostly from numerous military programs including the C-17 large lift capacity aircraft and the F-15, F/A-18 and F-22 fighters. The first F-22, the Air Force’s next-generation air superiority fighter, was flown in April 1997, signaling that the design and development phase is winding down. The Air Force plans to purchase up to 438 planes at $71 million each. Other key F-22 subcontractors in Pennsylvania include Lockheed Aeroparts, Inc., NF&M International, Inc. in Monaca, Aydin Vector Division in Newtown, General Sciences, Inc. in Norristown, and C.A. Spalding in Philadelphia. Dexter in Pittsburgh, Boeing Helicopters in Ridley Park, HRB Systems, Inc. in State College, and Westmorland in Youngstown are other F-22 subcontractors.
Biotechnology. Pennsylvania industries’ research encompasses the health care and biomedical fields as well as defense and energy. One of every eight biotechnology firms in the United States is located in the state. Centocor, located in Malvern, develops, manufactures, and markets diagnostic and therapeutic products. The company invests in R&D at hospitals and universities around the world, then Centocor scientists select products and technology for clinical development.
The Bayer Corporation, best known for its aspirin, is a research-based company with interests in the life sciences, chemicals, and imaging technologies. Pittsburgh is the headquarters for the Polymers; Industrial Chemicals; Fibers, Additives, and Rubber; and Performance Products Divisions.
Merck & Company, Inc. is a pharmaceutical researcher that focuses on cancer research, developing an AIDS vaccine, pharmacology, and virus and cell biology. The Merck Gene Index is a gene sequencing project sponsored by Merck & Company that collaborates with the University of Pennsylvania’s Computational Biology and Informatics Laboratory (see page 15). SmithKline Beecham, also a pharmaceutical manufacturer, is located in Philadelphia, its North American headquarters since 1997. The company has a progressive DNA research program looking at biopharmaceuticals, novel diagnostics, and vaccines.
Wyeth Ayerst, headquartered in Philadelphia, supports a Women’s Health Institute in Radnor that is devoted to R&D of women’s health products. Radnor is also one of the company’s three U.S. sites for new drug discovery. Rhône-Poulenc Rorer (RPR), another pharmaceutical firm, has its headquarters in Collegeville. RPR’s target therapeutic areas are respiratory diseases, plasma proteins, oncology, thrombosis and anti-infectives.
Aluminum, Energy, and Steel. In keeping with its early preeminence in industrial development, Pennsylvania leads the nation in specialty steel production. Historically, Pennsylvania is closely associated with the extraction of natural gas, petroleum, and coal. Natural gas is still a major product of the state. However, there has been a significant decline in coal output and crude oil production; now, nuclear power plants produce over one-third of Pennsylvania’s electricity. Though not necessarily dependent on federal R&D dollars, these industries nevertheless make major investments in industrial R&D in the state and thereby impact the science and technology community at large.
USX Corporation is a major worldwide producer of oil and natural gas, and the nation’s largest producer of steel products. The company is made up of the Marathon Group and the U.S. Steel Group, both in Pittsburgh. Bethlehem Steel Corporation is the second largest steel producer in the nation. Homer Research Laboratories in Bethlehem is the home of the company’s research and technology development programs. Pittsburgh’s Aluminum Company of America (Alcoa) is the world’s number one aluminum manufacturer. One of Alcoa’s DOE-contracted projects is an experiment to increase the efficiency of coal use. In natural gas research, Sun Refining and Marketing Company, in Marcus Hook, is studying biological enzymes that could be synthesized and one day be used commercially to produce liquids that could reduce our dependence on imported oil.
DONLEE Technologies, Inc. received $500,000 from DOE in FY 1995 for research in advanced clean and efficient power systems. DONLEE, located in York, is designing, constructing, and field-testing a coal-fired hospital waste disposal facility. Vortec Corporation, in Cheswick, specializes in waste vitrification systems. Vortec was one of the top 100 small business contractors used by DOE in FY 1995, receiving almost $2 million that year. For one project in FY 1995, Vortec was given $750,000 to help evaluate the commercial potential for coal-fired combustion systems for industrial process heating applications. The project is related to the use of the Combustion Melting System, which produces high quality glass that can be sold to insulation fiberglass manufacturers.
Chemical. Pennsylvania has several large chemical and gas producers. ARCO Chemical is known primarily for the development and commercialization of propylene oxide, and is the world’s leading producer. Propylene oxide and its derivatives are used in a wide range of consumer products, including automotive components, cushioning, paints, coatings, and antifreeze. ARCO’s world headquarters are in Newtown Square, where the company also has a massive research and engineering site.
The Rohm and Haas Company manufactures specialty chemicals and plastics, with expertise in polymer design and small-molecule chemistry. Technology produced by Rohm and Haas is a component of laundry detergents, diapers, food packaging, computer equipment, and products for agriculture. While Rohm and Haas’ corporate headquarters are in Philadelphia, its research laboratories are in Spring House and Bristol.
Air Products and Chemicals manufactures processing gases,
chemicals, additives and intermediates. Air Products specializes in polyurethanes
and performance chemicals, polymers, and industrial chemicals. Air Products
received almost $1 million from DOE in FY 1995 to demonstrate the uses
of alternate fuels technologies developed through government-sponsored
While Pennsylvania universities are a rapidly growing source of R&D funds, they still rely on federal funding for two-thirds of their R&D spending. Pennsylvania universities received a total of $756 million in federal R&D in FY 1995, or 6.1 percent of federal support for R&D at all the universities in the United States (see Table 2). Though heavily reliant on federal R&D dollars, Pennsylvania universities themselves are the secondary source for funding and spent $164 million on R&D in FY 1995, while private industry came in third with $120 million (see Table 3).
Four Pennsylvania universities are among the top 50 university recipients of federal R&D funds (see Table 2). The University of Pennsylvania ranked 12th ($203 million), the University of Pittsburgh ranked 17th ($171 million), Pennsylvania State University was 22nd ($153 million), and Carnegie Mellon University came in 45th ($81 million). Other major recipients of federal R&D funds include Thomas Jefferson University (ranked 76th with $48 million); Temple University (114th with $26 million); and Allegheny University of the Health Sciences (in 118th place with $24 million).
HHS is the largest federal sponsor of university R&D in Pennsylvania, providing $456 million in FY 1995 (see Table 2). This amounts to almost 60 percent of the total federal R&D funding to Pennsylvania universities in that year (see Chart 4). DOD is source of the second-largest amount of federal R&D funds, providing $120 million, followed by NSF ($103 million), DOE ($22 million), and USDA ($20 million).
The University of Pennsylvania, America’s first university, received $203 million in federal R&D funds in FY 1995 (see Table 2). Its primary sponsor is HHS, which provided $162 million for health-related research. The University of Pennsylvania Medical Center ranks fifth nationally in grant funding from NIH. It includes well-regarded Physiology, Radiology, and Radiation Oncology Departments, as well as a Computational Biology and Informatics Laboratory (CBIL). CBIL supports research on biological databases, genome informatics, and linguistic sequence analysis.
Penn is also the base of the Linguistic Data Consortium (LDC), a program for R&D in linguistic technologies, which is funded by DOD’s Advanced Research Projects Agency (ARPA). At the Laboratory for Research on the Structure of Matter (LSRM), research areas include active polymers at interfaces, liquid crystals, colloids, and design and synthesis of biomolecular materials. LSRM was established in 1960, as one of the first Materials Research Laboratories to be funded by DOD’s ARPA, and in 1972, funding was taken over by NSF. DOD provided $9 million to Penn in FY 1995.
There are 25 NSF Science and Technology Centers (STC) in the country; two are located in Pennsylvania. NSF’s STC Program funds important basic research and education activities and encourages technology transfer and innovative approaches to interdisciplinary programs. STCs receive long-term, stable funding, which ensures a solid foundation for students and encourages risk-taking research. The Institute for Research in Cognitive Science (IRCS), situated on Penn’s campus, is one of the STCs. IRCS links together computer information science, linguistics, mathematical logic, neurosciences, philosophy, and psychology. The research at IRCS focuses on language structure, processing, and acquisition; perceptions and actions; and logic and computation. IRCS collaborates extensively with industry. Partners include AT&T Labs Research, Lucent Technologies, and Lockheed Martin.
The University of Pittsburgh received $171 million in federal funds for R&D in FY 1995 (see Table 2). HHS provided $140 million of these funds, with the National Cancer Institute and the National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH) the top two contributors. The university’s School of Medicine is the primary recipient of HHS funds, with a significant portion going to the Psychiatry Department to support research on bipolar disorders, eating disorders, depression, and schizophrenia. DOD provided $11 million to Pitt in FY 1995, with the Air Force Office of Scientific Research and the Office of Naval Research the primary contributors. Air Force-financed projects include a joint Pitt-Carnegie Mellon University training program designed to teach American scientists, engineers, and managers about Japanese language and culture in order to enable them to work effectively with their foreign counterparts. Navy funds are directed towards the Manufacturing Systems Engineering Program’s research learning laboratory to provide two-way video and audio communication for graduate courses to multiple off-campus locations.
Pennsylvania State University received $153 million in federal funds for R&D in FY 1995 (see Table 2). DOD provided $57 million and is the primary federal-sponsor of R&D at Penn State. In fact, Penn State received more funds from DOD for R&D than any other Pennsylvania university. Most DOD funding comes from the Department of the Navy to support research at the Applied Research Laboratory (ARL). ARL, the largest of the interdisciplinary academic units at Penn State, is a facility that conducts basic and applied research for the development of scientific, industrial, and defense applications. Technology areas include acoustic transducers and arrays, SONARS, hydronamics of marine vehicles, and nanophase materials technology. NASA, which provided $10 million in FY 1995, has designated Penn State one of its individual Space Grant universities, making it part of a national network of institutions with research interests and capabilities in aeronautics and space.
Not surprisingly, Penn State, a land-grant institution, receives more funding from USDA ($9 million) than any other Pennsylvania university. The Pasture Systems and Watershed Management Research Laboratory (PSWMRL) of the USDA’s Agricultural Research Service was established in 1992. PSWMRL conducts research leading to the development of land, water, and plant management systems. This research focuses on sustainability of northeastern grazing and cropping while also maintaining ground and surface water quality. PSWMRL is also working on improving forage use and quantifying the effects of land management on water quality.
Carnegie Mellon University received $81 million in federal R&D funds in FY 1995. DOD was the primary supporter, providing $35 million. DOD supports the Software Engineering Institute, a Federally Funded Research and Development Center (see Page 20), and the Robotics Institute at Carnegie Mellon. The Robotics Institute’s projects include rapid manufacturing, manipulators, computer vision, space robots, and medical robots. "No Hands Across America," a project of the Robotics Institute, was funded by ARPA, along with the Department of Transportation’s National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. The project involved two researchers using a computer program to "drive" a Pontiac Trans Sport from Pittsburgh to San Diego, CA in July of 1995. The computer program uses video images to determine the location of the road ahead and then steers the vehicle accurately.
NSF provided $25 million to Carnegie Mellon in FY 1995. The Data Storage Systems Center is an NSF Engineering Research Center that strives to advance magnetic and optical recording for the U.S. data storage industry. The Center for Building Performance and Design is designated as an NSF Industry/University Cooperative Research Center, and conducts research in performance and diagnostics for building structures.
Pittsburgh is a major center for university collaborative research in neuroscience. The Neural Processes in Cognition (NPC) Program is an NSF-supported effort of Pitt and Carnegie Mellon University. NPC trains interdisciplinary scientists, with instruction in neurobiology, psychology, mathematics, and computer simulation. The Center for the Neural Basis of Cognition (CNBC), another joint effort of Pitt and Carnegie Mellon, focuses on the study of the neural basis of cognitive processes and promotes applications to artificial intelligence, technology, and medicine. The two universities also collaborate in the NIMH Center for the Neuroscience of Mental Disorders, the Center for Cognitive Brain Imaging, and the Pittsburgh NMR Center for Biomedical Research. The Center for Light Microscope Imaging and Biotechnology (CLMIB) is Pennsylvania’s other NSF Science and Technology Center. Light microscopy enables scientists to define the content and activity of cell and tissue constituents. CLMIB includes programs in cell biology, developmental biology, fluorescent reagents and imaging technology. CLMIB, which is located at Carnegie-Mellon, collaborates with the Pittsburgh Supercomputing Center and Carnegie Mellon’s School of Computer Science in the Automated Interactive Microscope Project.
Another significant project reflecting university partnerships is the Pittsburgh Supercomputing Center (PSC). PSC was formed through a collaborative effort between Carnegie Mellon University, the University of Pittsburgh, and Westinghouse Electric Corporation. PSC was established in 1986 by a grant from NSF, with additional support from the state of Pennsylvania. PSC provides resources to computationally challenging scientific problems. R&D conducted by PSC staff includes heterogeneous computing, high performing and parallel applications, scientific visualization, and networking.
In 1997, NSF conducted a competition to seek possible new locations for continuing supercomputing research. PSC did not win the competition and support from NSF will terminate in FY 1998. However, PSC continues to receive funding from other sources. In 1995, PSC received $6 million from NIH to support the application of supercomputing to research in molecular biology. Core projects funded are the study of protein properties, protein binding, a protein-structure database, artificial intelligence to predict protein structure, and improved methods for protein and DNA sequence analysis. The Biomedical Supercomputing Initiative receives funding from the National Center for Research Resources, the National Human Genome Research Institute, the National Library of Medicine, the General Neural Simulation System (GENESIS) Project, and the Center for the Neural Basis of Cognition.
Pennsylvania’s system of research universities and colleges make a significant contribution to the education of future scientists and engineers. In 1995, over 35,000 bachelors, masters, and doctoral degrees were awarded in science and engineering fields. About one-half of the bachelor degrees, one-third of the masters degrees, and over one-half of the doctoral degrees awarded in Pennsylvania, are given in science and engineering fields. From a disciplinary perspective, Pennsylvania shows strength in sheer numbers in the fields of life sciences, social sciences, and engineering. In percentage terms, its strength lies in the interdisciplinary sciences, geosciences, and physical sciences (see Table 4).
For the last thirty years, Pennsylvania universities and
colleges have made great strides in improving the rate of science and engineering
degrees awarded compared to the national average. Since 1974, the number
of science and engineering bachelor degrees awarded in the state per 100,000
population has exceeded the U.S. average (see Chart 7). Masters and doctoral
degrees present a more dramatic picture. Between 1966 and approximately
1984, the rates at which masters and doctoral degrees were awarded was
below the national average (see Charts 8 & 9). Between 1984 and 1990,
the state began to surpass the national average and has begun to show a
steady rise since.
Federally Funded Research and Development Centers (FFRDCs)
are government-owned research facilities which, unlike federal labs, are
operated and managed under contract either by universities, industrial
firms or nonprofit institutions. There are a total of 38 FFRDCs in the
United States, one of which is located in Pennsylvania. The Software Engineering
Institute (SEI) is an FFRDC sponsored by the Office of the Undersecretary
of Defense for Acquisition and operated by Carnegie-Mellon University.
In FY 1995, SEI received a total of $22 million in federal funding to support
its research activities (see Table 1). SEI provides leadership in the practice
of software engineering and works to improve the quality of systems that
depend on software. SEI’s Computer Emergency Response Team studies Internet
security vulnerabilities and researches security and survivability in wide-area-networked
Nonprofit institutions in Pennsylvania received $189 million from the federal government in support of R&D activities in FY 1995 (see Table 1). Over half of these funds for R&D came from HHS. Other important sponsors are DOD and NSF.
The major nonprofit organizations in Pennsylvania focus on medical research. The Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia, recently rated the number two pediatric hospital in the country, received more federal funding ($25.9 million) than any other nonprofit in the state. In fact, it has the eighth-largest research budget of any hospital in the country, and the second-largest NIH-sponsored research budget among U.S. pediatric hospitals. Children’s Hospital is the only pediatric hospital participating in the Human Genome Project. The 1995 opening of the Leonard and Madlyn Abramson Pediatric Research Center more than doubled the space for research at Children’s Hospital.
The Wistar Institute, located in Philadelphia, is designated by the National Cancer Institute as one of only ten Basic Science Centers. The Institute received $13.3 million in federal funds in FY 1995, primarily in support of cancer research focusing on the regulation of gene expression, the role of the immune system in cancer development, and immune response to gene therapy. The latter project is carried out in collaboration with the University of Pennsylvania’s Institute of Human Gene Therapy.
Other major nonprofit organizations in Pennsylvania focus on education initiatives. Common Knowledge: Pittsburgh (CK:P) is a joint effort of the Pittsburgh Public Schools, the University of Pittsburgh, and the Pittsburgh Supercomputing Center, and Westinghouse Electric Corporation. CK:P’s goal is to provide Internet access and implement curriculum-based network activities. The financial agent for CK:P is the Mellon-Pitt Corporation (MPC), an entity which exists to facilitate collaborative projects involving Carnegie Mellon University and the University of Pittsburgh. The MPC received $20.5 million from NSF in FY 1995.
The Franklin Institute, based in Philadelphia, received $9.5 million from NSF and DOD. The Franklin Institute Science Museum aims to stimulate interest in science, promote public understanding of science, and strengthen science education. The Museum is a member of the Science Learning Network, in which museum educators train teachers how to use telecomputing in their classrooms. NSF, in FY 1995, contributed $3.5 million to the Network. The Franklin Institute’s Girls at the Center, part of the National Science Partnership, strengthens science learning among girls and minorities.
The Northeast Regional Consortium and Training Technologies
(CADETT) was supported by $8.5 million from DOD’s ARPA. The Franklin Institute
is the leader in developing CADETT, which researches and develops technologies
to assist industry in workforce training.
In previous years, efforts to balance the federal budget left the science and technology community with expectations of fewer dollars and leaner years. In 1997, the White House and Congress reached a historic agreement to balance the budget by 2002. In the aftermath of the agreement, and with the U.S. economy growing at a rapid pace, congressional appropriators found themselves in an entirely different environment than the past two years. Because the budget agreement allowed for increases in discretionary spending (the portion of the budget which funds all federal R&D) in FY 1998, appropriators were in the position of deciding which programs should receive increases. This is a sharp contrast to FY 1996 and FY 1997 when decisions were being made as to which programs should be eliminated or cut.
Federal R&D, therefore, fared better than anticipated in the FY 1998 appropriations process. R&D funding for NIH, NSF, and EPA grew significantly even after adjusting for inflation. Other R&D agencies such as NASA, DOE, and USDA received small increases, while DOD R&D decreased. This paints a somewhat brighter picture than previous years when the science community expected drastic budget cuts across all agencies.
The President’s FY 1999 budget request also shows good prospects for growth in R&D. The Administration singled out NIH and NSF to receive large increases for FY 1999 and in the outyears. Research in cancer and the human genome have been singled out as priorities. With the recent international Kyoto Treaty meeting, the Administration has also targeted DOE to receive significant increases for R&D. DOE’s R&D budget request focuses on fossil energy, energy conservation, and basic energy science research programs. Finally, the transformation of our society to one dependent on electronic information has reinforced the need for federal investments in information technology R&D within various agencies such as DOD, NSF, and DOE.
Pennsylvania’s future in science and technology is positioned to benefit from the proposed increases in federal R&D. Pennsylvania has an established foundation in energy, information technology, and biotechnology research. As domestic and international interest in curbing greenhouse gas emissions, reducing levels of particulate matter, and developing more energy efficient fuels grows, Pennsylvania should prepare itself to meet these emerging needs. In the world of information technology Pennsylvania’s university research system stands to benefit because of its many programs in this discipline. Finally, biomedical research has been given renewed interest as many decision-makers see this research reaching an age of Renaissance, with major advancements around the corner. Both Pennsylvania’s private-sector and educational institutions can greatly profit from the research that it conducts in this field.
Pennsylvania’s university research system is one of its strongest features. A large part of the federally-sponsored R&D that is performed by Pennsylvania’s colleges and universities is supported by NIH and NSF, so as funding for research continues to grow in these agencies, these universities are likely to benefit. Another strength within the universities is the amount of research conducted through partnerships with other universities or industrial firms. Partnerships allow the universities to leverage their resources and open up new avenues for research.
This does not mean that Pennsylvania’s future is without some uncertainty. The proposed increases in R&D spending would still leave many agencies’ R&D budgets below their FY 1994 levels in inflation-adjusted terms, because of steep cuts enacted over the past four years.
This is especially true for DOD. DOD’s basic research account, which funds research in developing new technologies with potential applications to next-generation weapon systems, received decreases over the last four years. Although the FY 1999 request would attempt to reverse this trend, policymakers argue whether it is more important to ensure that U.S. troops are properly armed today than to invest in new technologies for tomorrow.
Pennsylvania’s R&D enterprise is wedded to the industrial giants that support defense and civil aerospace, as well as energy R&D. Commanding 51 percent of Pennsylvania’s total federal R&D funds, in addition to contributing $5.1 billion R&D dollars of their own, industrial firms will strongly influence the future of science and technology in the coming years. Unfortunately, the majority of these R&D dollars are coming from DOD, whose long-term strategy is to decrease R&D funding. However, Pennsylvania’s firms are involved in numerous major defense projects and key civil space projects, so the state is not shackled to a single program. This diversity should help to protect the state’s defense R&D industry from traumatic changes. Nevertheless, diversification into nondefense areas of industrial R&D seems essential to secure Pennsylvania’s place as a high-tech state in the 21st century.
Fortunately, Pennsylvania’s industrial sector is an example
of a state that has transformed itself over time, adapting to the technological
changes that face our nation. Pennsylvania companies first rose to fame
in the Industrial Revolution, especially in the production of coal and
steel. As the needs of our nation changed, these industries have adapted
their research programs to meet the scientific and technological challenges
of today and tomorrow.
Unless otherwise indicated, all dollar figures in this report refer to research and development (R&D), which includes both the conduct of R&D and support for R&D facilities. Some figures refer only to conduct of R&D and are noted as such.
This report uses the National Science Foundation’s definitions for R&D. These definitions, which are used by NSF and the Office of Management and Budget in the collection of federal government statistics for R&D, are reproduced below.
R&D refers to research¾ both basic and applied¾ and development activities in the sciences and engineering as well as R&D plant.
Research is systematic study directed toward fuller scientific understanding of the subject studied. Research is classified as either basic or applied according to the objective of the sponsoring agency.
In basic research the objective of the sponsoring agency is to gain fuller knowledge or understanding of the fundamental aspects of phenomena and of observable facts without specific applications toward processes or products in mind.
In applied research the objective of the sponsoring agency is to gain knowledge or understanding necessary for determining means by which a recognized and specific need may be met.
Development is the systematic use of the knowledge or understanding gained from research directed toward the production of useful materials, devices, systems or methods, including design, development, and improvement of prototypes and new processes. It excludes quality control, routine product testing and evaluation.
Funds for conducting R&D include those for personnel, program supervision, and administrative support directly associated with R&D activities. Expendable or movable equipment needed to conduct R&D, e.g., a microscope or a spectrometer, is also included.
The definitions discussed above constitute "conduct of R&D." R&D plant, or R&D facilities support, including funds for non-movable R&D facilities such as reactors, wind tunnels, or particle accelerators, or for the construction, repair, or alteration of such facilities. (A facility is interpreted broadly to be any physical resource important to the conduct of R&D.)
Figures may vary between tables. Some tables are based on calendar years while others are based on fiscal years; some cover only conduct of R&D while others cover R&D facilities support as well. Data are collected using a variety of surveys which yield data that are not always perfectly consistent. Some data are collecting by surveying the sources of R&D funds (such as federal agencies) while others data are based on a survey of recipients. Please refer to the original source for complete information on how the data are collected.
(Definitions adapted from National Science Foundation,
Federal R&D Funding by Budget Function Fiscal Years 1994–96, NSF
95-342, 1995, and other NSF publications)
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