National University System Institute for Policy Research

(858) 642-8498 Get Started

Can philanthropy fill R&D grant gap if feds back away?


Friday, March 24, 2017

View Article

Cuts to R&DCuts to R&D


Kelly Cunningham, National University System

NO: Philanthropy alone is not likely enough, but profit motive could be. Government may be good at certain things advancing technology — peer-reviewed funding of basic research, pre-commercial development -- but rarely leads technological innovation and is not good at choosing which commercial products are promising or deserving of funding. Government recreates at best, and at worst misallocates, private financial behavior. Federal subsidies largely benefit upper-income, well-connected people at the expense of those with more modest levels of income.