Scientists at academic institutions usually turn to government and foundations for money to do their research, and for good reason: These sources provide the bulk of the funding for academic research. But the fluctuating federal research budgets of recent years, in Europe and Japan as well as the United States, have given researchers reasons to go looking for alternative funding sources.
Business spends more money on research and development than the public and academic sectors combined (bar chart at left). But only a small proportion of that investment reaches academic researchers. In 2006, according to figures compiled by the U.S. National Science Foundation, industry spent $2.4 billion at U.S. academic institutions. That’s just 5% of total funding for academic research (pie chart), but it’s still a nice chunk of change.
How do academic scientists get started in their search for industry financing? Science writer describes how businesses find and select academic researchers, and how academic researchers can improve their chances of getting found.