Federally-funded research is of vital importance to the health, security and economy of the United States. In fact, it has been estimated that up to half of U.S. economic growth over the past five decades is due to national investments in science and technology. It is the longstanding partnership between the federal government and the nation's research universities, which conduct the majority of the nation’s basic research, that serves as the foundation of this success. Federally-funded, university-based research is a critical investment in our future economy – creating new products, new processes, new business and new jobs – and makes possible the future development of cures and the discovery of new technological frontiers. 

Innovations that flow from university-based research provide a valuable return on investment, leading to everything from ever more affordable genome sequencing technologies to everyday items like the global positioning systems in our cars and cell phones. In addition to creating new knowledge, U.S. universities use their research activities to educate the students who will become the next generation’s scientists, teachers, and leaders in government and industry. This dual mission of creating cutting-edge research and educating future generations remains a unique feature of the U.S. university research system. American universities have been successful in recruiting research pioneers domestically and abroad in the areas of health, environmental safety,design, communication tools, and technical innovation. No other nation draws so many students from abroad, or has been so successful in basic research.

As one of America’s leading research institutions, Harvard University actively partners with the federal government and other research universities to strive for academic excellence, to conduct cutting-edge research and to further innovation. Indeed, almost 20 percent of the institution’s operating budget stems from sponsored research and nearly 80 percent of that comes from federal sources. Harvard’s schools and scholars are committed to producing new scholarship and to making this scholarship widely available for the public good.

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