SEATTLE, Wash., February 13, 1997 -- High-tech advances in the Pacific Northwest could be hampered by proposed cuts in funding for federal R&D programs, according to a report released today by the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS).
The report, The Future of Science and Technology in the Pacific Northwest: Trends and Indicators, points out that although the region's strength in industry-funded R&D may shield the economy from the consequences of proposed cuts, the region's universities are likely to feel the impact.
According to the report, universities in Washington and Oregon have contributed significantly to the region's growing biotechnology and medical industry. "Cuts to academic research could have a direct influence on the intellectual support structures of these industries," said Al Teich, director of AAAS Science and Policy Programs. "The pool of trained specialists -- the workforce that has enabled the region's high-tech industry to become a world-class leader in the global marketplace -- may be severely impacted if these cuts are implemented."
During the past several years, congressional and White House proposals have called for reductions in civilian R&D spending of as much as 25 to 33 percent by the year 2002. The President's most recent (FY 1998) proposal calls for more moderate reductions, but the trend is still downward.
Universities in Washington and Oregon depend on the federal government for more than two-thirds of their research funding. The University of Washington relies on the federal government to finance more than 80 percent of its research. In FY 1994, it received $278 million for federal R&D, placing it second in the nation among universities receiving federal R&D funds.
According to the report, research and development are an integ
Contact: Ellen Cooper
American Association for the Advancement of Science