The business sector performed between 68 percent and 74 percent of total R&D over the 20-year period from 1993-2013. In 2013, the business sector performed 70.7 percent of total R&D in 2013 and sourced 65.2 percent of total funds. The federal government, which sourced 26.7 percent of R&D funds in 2013, performed just 10.9 percent of total R&D.
Universities and colleges, which performed 14.2 percent of total R&D in 2013, are especially important to basic research: 51 percent of the $80.5 billion in basic research performed in the United States in 2013 was done by universities and colleges. This summer, the SSTI Digest detailed long-term trends in basic research funding. In 2013, the federal government accounted for 47 percent of the $80.5 billion in total basic research expenditures, 37 percent of the $90.6 billion in total applied research expenditures, and 18% of the $285 billion in total development expenditures, suggesting its prominence remains as an important funder of research and development in the United States.