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Article Posted February 21, 2009

USG Reports $906.5 Million in FY08 Extramural Income

One of the Board of Regents’ strategic goals is to increase research funding in the University System of Georgia (USG), and a new report shows the System is on track. Extramural funding increased 7.8 percent in Fiscal Year 2008 over the previous fiscal year, to $906.5 million, an increase of more than $65.9 million.

“This increase is another indication of the importance of continued investment in the research activities of our institutions,” said Dr. Susan Herbst, the USG’s chief academic officer and executive vice chancellor. “During tight budget times, our ability to generate increased funding through research and service missions is even more important to our ability to sustain and strengthen the academic enterprise.”

The rise in the USG’s extramural funding is particularly welcome, Herbst notes, in light of a new report by the National Science Foundation that finds federal spending on research and development has declined in real terms from 2007 to 2008 and that 2008 funds for basic research dropped to the lowest level since 2002 in constant dollars.

Related to the regents’ strategic focus – strengthening research as well as economic development efforts – the board heard two separate reports on research activities and the board’s Intellectual Capital Partnership Program (ICAPP) economic-development efforts at its February meeting. The research report, given by Dr. David Lee, vice president for research at the University of Georgia (UGA), highlighted why research is so important and must have continued investment to keep the University System competitive in terms of faculty and attracting funds, which multiply through the regional economy, creating jobs in a host of sectors.

Terry Durden, interim assistant vice chancellor for the board’s office of economic development, reported on the System’s economic development efforts and how those programs benefit the state. ICAPP, housed in the Regents’ Office of Economic Development, helped create more than 5,000 new jobs in 100 Georgia counties since it began in 1996, Durden noted. ICAPP creates programs to respond to Georgia’s college-educated workforce needs and works with University System institutions and Georgia employers to benefit the state’s economic development by producing college graduates that are in high demand and low supply.

In the extramural funding report, of the $906.5 million, $704.4 million was for research, $120.5 million was for public service and $81.6 million was for instruction. Federal funds made up the greatest portion of the funding for System research income, with 65 percent coming from this source. The state of Georgia was the source of 8 percent of the System’s extramural funding and the non-profit sector accounted for 9 percent of the total. Business and industry provided 12 percent of the funds and other sources combined for the remaining 6 percent.

The report also details extramural income from sales of intellectual property at the five senior institutions in the University System. The FY 2008 total income from entrepreneurial activities such as inventions, software, copyrights and trademarks was $21.8 million an increase of $7.35 million, or over 51 percent, over FY 2007. The five institutions producing this income included the Georgia Institute of Technology, Georgia State University, the Medical College of Georgia, the University of Georgia and Georgia Southern University. “Federal funding for research plays a vital role in the System’s extramural funding,” said Dr. Cathie Hudson, the USG’s vice chancellor for research and policy analysis. “The ability of our institutions to attract federal funding shows the quality of our institutions and that the federal government considers the System to be good stewards of taxpayer’s dollars.”

Posted by John Vanchella
Published in: Board of Regents

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