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Research At New England Universities And Industries Facing Uncertain Future Under Proposed R&D Reductions

WASHINGTON, D.C., March 20, 1997 - - Members of the New England Congressional delegation were advised today that the high technology industry in the region could be hurt by reductions in federal R&D programs being proposed by the White House and Congress.

The delegation was briefed at the Capitol on a report by the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS). The report, which covers six states — Connecticut, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, Rhode Island, Maine, and Vermont — points out that the region is a major contributor to the nation's R&D industry and received $4.8 billion in federal funding in 1994 (the last year for which detailed numbers are available). The briefing was sponsored by the New England Council Congressional Caucus, co-chaired by U.S. Representatives Richard Neal (D-MA) and Nancy Johnson (R-CT).

The publication, The Future of Science and Technology in New England: Trends and Indicators, reports that New England universities, which contribute significantly to science and technology programs in the region, depend upon the federal government for an average of 67 percent of their research dollars. On average, the nation's universities receive about 60 percent of their funding from federal R&D programs.

"New England universities rely heavily on funds from federal R&D programs," said Al Teich, director of AAAS Science and Policy Programs. "Cuts to these programs will have a profound impact on the universities in the region. Ultimately, New England's economy and its workforce will suffer as a result of any significant reductions."

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 f
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Contact: Ellen Cooper
ecooper@aaas.org
202-326-6431
American Association for the Advancement of Science
24-Mar-1997


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