The U.S. is expected to invest $581.0 billion in R&D in 2019, an increase of 2.7 over the $565.8 billion invested in 2018. A big part of the 2019 increase comes
from a large increase in federal research funding for the
FY2019 budget, which was the highest funding increase since
The passed appropriations were nearly $12 billion more
than those proposed by the Trump Administration. U.S industrial R&D investments for 2019 in our analysis were actually scaled back partially due to a decline in the International
Monetary Fund’s (IMF’s) World Economic Outlook for the
U.S. from a 2.9% increase in 2018 to just 2.5% in 2019. The
implementation of tariffs by the Trump Administration and
a projection of three Federal Reserve short-term interest rate
increases in 2019 also slightly reduce the economic outlook.
With the current planned schedule of interest rate increases,
a possible 3.25% interest rate could be seen by the end of
2019—the highest rate in more than ten years. This raises the
cost of doing research by increasing the borrowing rate.
U.S. R&D in 2018 was driven by the inter-relationships of
various industries, including information and communication technologies (ICT), automotive, pharmaceutical and aerospace/defense.
These industries are expected to be
the major R&D drivers for U.S. R&D
in 2019 as well. Artificial intelligence
(AI) and automation/robotics (which
are often referred to as ICT components) are likely to be integrally
involved in the R&D efforts in each
of these industries.
Interestingly, the implementation
of automation/robotics is an area
that U.S. organizations are currently
trailing foreign technology organizations, specifically in southeast Asia and
parts of Eastern Europe, according to a
recent report by the Information Technology and Innovation Foundation
(ITIF). “Which Nations Really Lead in
Industrial Robot Adoption (November