Budget Cuts to Federal R&D Invite Economic and Strategic Decline, Says Leading Tech Think Tank

March 11, 2019

WASHINGTON—In response to the administration’s budget proposal for fiscal year 2020, the Information Technology and Innovation Foundation (ITIF), the world’s leading think tank for science and technology policy, released the following statement from its president, Rob Atkinson:

The administration’s budget proposal appears to make cuts to the already dwindling federal support for research and development (R&D). For example, the budget calls for a 9 percent reduction in the National Science Foundation budget.* Public R&D is crucial both for the United States’ domestic economy and its position in the global economy. Cuts to federal support for R&D result in stagnant productivity growth, lagging competitiveness, and reduced innovation. Further, other nations—particularly adversaries like China—are increasing their investments in R&D at a robust pace. To continue budget cuts to federal support for R&D invites economic and strategic decline.

For additional background, see ITIF’s recent analysis: “Dwindling Federal Support for R&D Is a Recipe for Economic and Strategic Decline.”

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* Note: An earlier version of this press release misstated the size of the proposed reduction. It would come to 9 percent, not 7 percent.