News & CommentScience Policy

A $1 Billion 'Tax' on R&D Funds

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Science  17 May 1996:
Vol. 272, Issue 5264, pp. 942-944
DOI: 10.1126/science.272.5264.942a


Since 1983, 11 federal agencies have been spending an increasing share of their research budgets on a program to help small, high-tech businesses find a way to commercialize their ideas. Now the $1 billion program is under fire by academics—and being questioned by some legislators and federal officials, too—because the tax it imposes on existing programs is becoming a burden on R&D budgets that are no longer growing.