Measuring Up: Research and Development Counts for the Chemical Industry

Article excerpt

Measuring Up: Research and Development Counts for the Chemical Industry; David Sicilia, Baruch Lev, David Aboody, Francis Narin, Michael Albert, and Ashish Arora; The Council for Chemical Research, Washington, D.C.; 2001; 41 pp., $150.00 ($50 for members) from CCR, Tel. 202-429-3971;

Sponsored by the Council for Chemical Research in cooperation with the Chemical Heritage Foundation, this study report finds that chemical research and development plays a critical role in the U.S. economy and generates a strong return on investment for American corporations.

For the first time, this study quantifies the return on investment from R&D in the $419-billion U.S. chemical industry, which represents 10 percent of all U.S. manufacturing and accounts for 2 percent of GDP. The chemical industry also generates $68 billion in exports-10 percent of all U.S. exports. Key findings of this study include:

* On average, every dollar invested in chemical R&D today produces $2 in corporate operating income over six years-an average annual return of 17 percent after taxes.

* Business performs better when public policy, including government funding of R&D, is consistent.

* Publicly funded science makes significant contributions to new technologies in the chemical industry.

* Chemical patents are increasingly linked to scientific papers-roughly six science references per patent, the high end of the range for all industries.

* A high percentage of science links come from scientific papers generated by academic researchers receiving public funding

Federal funding accounts for approximately 31 percent of the chemical R&D in the United States and is the primary support for fundamental research programs at federal laboratories and U. …