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Research collaboration involving multiple institutions is a growing trend, as can be seen by increases in the amount of total expenditures for research and development that universities pass through to others and receive from others (pass-through funds). Funds passed through universities to others grew from $1.4 billion in FY 2000 to $3.8 billion in FY 2009, and pass-through funds received by universities from others grew from $1.8 billion to $4.1 billion. (Credit: Thinkstock)According to NSF report, federal initiatives and technological advances are contributing factors.

A recent National Science Foundation report found that research collaboration among multiple institutions is a growing trend.

The conclusion was drawn by noting increases in the amount of total expenditures for research and development that universities pass through to other institutions and receive from other institutions.

During fiscal years 2000-2009, the amount of R&D funding that passed through universities to others for collaborative projects grew more rapidly than overall academic R&D expenditures. After adjustment for inflation, total academic R&D expenditures increased 47 percent during this period, and R&D funds passed through to others more than doubled.

In fiscal year 2000, universities provided about $700 million to other schools and about $482 million to other entities; in fiscal 2009, they provided $1.9 billion to other schools and $1.4 billion to other entities.

Federal initiatives contributed to this growth in research collaboration, as did technological advances that facilitate communication. Other factors were opportunities for division of labor, risk sharing, and increased research credibility.

Please visit the NSF's National Center for Science and Engineering Statistics (NCSES) for more reports and other products.

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