The report also said that R&D returns to the U.S. economy are "likely highest when the research is both generated and used within the United States."
Congress appears unlikely to take steps in the near term to improve R&D spending. If anything, there are worries that the so-called fiscal cliff and other budget actions may reduce spending.
Rob Atkinson, president of the Information Technology and Innovation Foundation, said that if sequester happens, it will lead to a cut of 8.8% or $12.5 billion in federally funded research and development funds in 2013 with similar cuts the following years. Similarly, the American Association for the Advancement of Science estimates a budget reduction about as high.
"The fiscal climate right now is just not conducive to growth in federal research investments," said Peter Harsha, director of government affairs of the Computing Research Association. "That's a disturbing trend, especially given the growing research capacity of our global economic competitors. The U.S. leadership role isn't a birthright."
Patrick Thibodeau covers cloud computing and enterprise applications, outsourcing, government IT policies, data centers and IT workforce issues for Computerworld. Follow Patrick on Twitter at @DCgov or subscribe to Patrick's RSS feed. His e-mail address is email@example.com.
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