State agency expenditures for science rose by seven percent between fiscal years (FY) 2007 and 2009, according to a recent report by the National Science Foundation (NSF). In FY 2009—the most recent year for which data is available—states spent a total of $1.2 billion.

Most science activities funded by state agencies were applied research and development (R&D), with basic research comprising about a quarter of the portfolio. Roughly 44 percent of state R&D expenditures went to academic institutions. Companies and individuals comprised about 21 percent of expenditures. Roughly a quarter of R&D was done internally by state agencies.

For the first time NSF asked state agencies to classify their R&D activities into five categories. The largest amount of funding was spent on environment and natural resources R&D (26 percent), closely followed by health (23 percent) and transportation (20 percent). Agriculture represented the least funded R&D activity at 6 percent of expenditures. All other types of research accounted for the remaining quarter of expenditures.

R&D expenditures differed dramatically by state. California spent $147 million in FY 2009 versus the $0.5 million spent by the District of Columbia. Five states (California, New York, Ohio, Pennsylvania, and Florida) accounted for nearly half of total state agency R&D expenditures.

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