How many research projects are there? Michael Odza 03 Jun 1997 16:19 EST

Dear Friends,

Forgive my ignorance, but how can I find out how many (more or less)
distinct research projects can be counted each year in U.S. universities?

I ask because the June/July issue of "lingua franca" features an article
entitled, "The Ties that Bind--Do Corporate Dollars Strangle Scientific
Research?" by editor Daniel Zalewski (p.51), that contains the following
provocative claim: "While corporate funding accounts for only around 10
percent of today's research dollars, the vast majority of working
scientists carry *some* kind of industry grant..."

While there certainly are a number (and I'm sure an increasing number) of
cases of disclosed or undisclosed industry influence on publication timing
and even content, the author makes a number of unsupported claims like the
one above, which tend to weaken his argument. I would like to see the
debate use verifiable, consistent data...

For instance:
The recent AUTM survey notes that nearly 10,000 inventions were disclosed
by the 173 U.S. and Canadian universities, hospitals and other research
institutions responding to the 1995 survey, or about 7.6 inventions per $10
million in federal research funding (5 inventions per $10 million in total
funding). Over the five years of the study, inventions seem to be rising
more or less in step with total research funding.

But how many different research projects are represented by the $20 billion
in total research funding? What proportion of all research projects, in
other words, do throw off an invention disclosure, and how many never
result in an invention disclosure, much less a patent application, much
less a license (2 per $10 million fed research)?

How well does the number of federal research grants (whatever that is)
correspond to the numbers of science faculty, research teams, defined
research projects? Any thoughts, or direction to thoughtful analysis will
be appreciated.

Best regards,

Michael Odza, Publisher of Technology Access Report,
for tech transfer professionals, and
Intellectual Property Advice, for researchers
8 Digital Dr., Ste. 250, Novato, CA 94949
800/733-1516 (415/883-7600)
FAX: 415/883-6421,

> From: Research Administration Discussion Group
> To: Multiple recipients of list RESADM-L <>
> Subject: Capitol Pubs. Internet Guide
> Date: Sunday, June 01, 1997 8:47 AM
> Has anyone out there purchased Capitol Publications, Inc.'s (the same
> who puts out Federal Grants and Contracts Weekly) $75.00  "The
> Grantseeker's Handbook of Essential Internet Sites?"  If so, comments
> please--is this useful and worth the money or is it same old, same old?
> Barbara H. Gray                            Telephone:   803-953-5673
> Director of Sponsored Programs      Fax:            803-953-6577
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