Sarah Laszlo puts an EEG headset on a research participant’s head. (credit: Jonathan Cohen/Binghamton University)
In recent years, funding for research provided by the National Institutes of Health has struggled to keep up with inflation.

A recent paper published in Science suggests this could mean bad things for the overall economy.

Ana analysis of 27 years of NIH grants shows that 10 percent of them were acknowledged directly in new patents, and the research they funded showed up three times more often.
The authors of this paper analyzed the output of research grants awarded by the NIH, focusing specifically on life-science patents, including patents for drugs, medical devices, and other medical technologies.

They did not examine grants in other fields, such as physics.
Between 1980 and 2007, the NIH funded 365,380 grants, nearly half of which were what are called R01-level, which is used to fund large projects.

They found that about nine percent of these grants were directly acknowledged by patents, while 31 percent were indirectly linked to new patent applications.

The indirect group involved research papers produced using money from the grant; these papers may then be cited in patents.
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