This week was spent mostly on research regarding leading researchers, topics, institutions and funding patterns/outcomes for research in cleantech. The sub-fields that I am responsible for are waste management and recycling, energy and smartgrid, and climate adaptation. Another person is responsible for transportation, buildings and materials, and air and water. The research is coming along, I found a few reports produced by academic, non-governmental, and financial organizations.
One report, by the National Science Foundation, compares scientific research and development investments by private firms and academia across states (in this report, the data is aggregated; breakdowns by funding category are not shown). Notably, New York does not land within the first quartile of leading states that either have above average R&D investment by private firms or by academic institutions. However many of New York’s neighboring states, for example Massachusetts, Pennsylvania, New Jersey, Delaware, New Hampshire, and Connecticut all fall within the first quartile of states with private firms that invest in R&D at an above average rate. New York lands within the 3rd quartile (below average) as compared to the rest of the country. An interactive map can be viewed here: http://www.nsf.gov/statistics/seind10/c8/c8s4o39.htm
With regards to academic research and development investment, New York again lands within the 3rd quartile, while several of its neighbors, namely Massachusetts and Pennsylvania, as well as Maryland, Rhode Island, New Hampshire, and Vermont, lead the way in the first quartile. This metric was calculated based on academic R&D as compared to $1,000 of a state’s Gross Domestic Product. Meaning, that if the state’s GDP was low, a low investment in R&D would not be skewed (or appear unfairly “small”). An interactive map with more details can be viewed here: http://www.nsf.gov/statistics/seind10/c8/c8s4o40.htm
These findings are somewhat disturbing as, according to the NSF, applied research is usually handled by private firms, while basic research is usually undertaken by academic institutions. But if neither is happening in significant ways, then the state could be loosing out on not only developing scientific innovations, but all the potential economic benefits to having innovation developed within the state. For example, job creation and private investment/funding/public grants that may go along with commercializing an innovation (i.e. taking the breakthrough from the idea stage to the application stage to the marketplace), as well as longer term benefits like creating a new sector within a local economy.
I’ll end this week’s summary here for now. Next week, I will have a more complete picture of the research and may update this discussion (in a separate post).
Hope everyone is well.
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