V.6 Chemical R&D Powers the U.S. Innovation Engine

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Council for Chemical Research

The Council for Chemical Research (CCR) commissioned expert economists to conduct a two-phase study, published in 2005 as Measure for Measure: Chemical R&D Powers the U.S. Innovation Engine, on the quantitative impact of research and development (R&D) in the chemical sciences. Using patent and scientific literature, a 20-year timeline from basic research to market was determined. Furthermore, the experts identified two major feedback cycles: (1) chemical industry innovation is directly linked to federally supported foundational research, and (2) the $1 billion federal investment is leveraged by industry investment of about $5 billion dollars for invention development and technology commercialization. Experts also calculated that every dollar invested in R&D by the chemical industry over the past twenty years has generated two dollars in increased operating income, a 17% return on investment after taxes. In 2005, researchers from the Los Alamos National Laboratory examined the macroeconomic impacts of the $10 billion chemical industry income on gross national product (GNP) and jobs. Using the REMI Policy Insight model, they determined a GNP multiplier of 4 which, applied to the industry operating income of $10 billion, yields $40 billion in GNP; it also creates 600,000 new jobs and roughly $8 billion in additional tax revenues each year, some of which is invested in chemical R&D, thus closing the cycle.


Council for Chemical Research in cooperation with the Chemical Heritage Foundation. Phase I. 2001. “Measuring Up: Research and Development Counts for the Chemical Industry.” Washington: Council for Chemical Research. Accessed August 31, 2011. http://www.ccrhq.org/publications.

Council for Chemical Research. Phase II. 2005. “Measure for Measure: Chemical R&D Powers the U.S. Innovation Engine.” Washington: Council for Chemical Research. Accessed September 7, 2011. http://www.ccrhq.org/publications_docs/CCRPhaseIIStudyReport.pdf.

Council for Chemical Research. 2009. Chemical R&D Powers the U.S. Innovation Engine. Courtesy of the Council for Chemical Research. In “5th Iteration (2009): Science Maps for Science Policy-Makers,” Places & Spaces: Mapping Science, edited by Katy Börner and Elisha F. Hardy. http://scimaps.org.

Acknowledgements: This exhibit is supported by the National Science Foundation under Grant No. IIS-0238261, CHE-0524661, IIS-0534909 and IIS-0715303, the James S. McDonnell Foundation; Thomson Reuters; the Cyberinfrastructure for Network Science Center, University Information Technology Services, and the School of Library and Information Science, all three at Indiana University. Some of the data used to generate the science maps is from the Web of Science by Thomson Reuters and Scopus by Elsevier. Any opinions, findings, and conclusions or recommendations expressed in this material are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the views of the National Science Foundation.