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Business enterprises contributed 59.1 % of U.S. GERD in 2012, down from 69.0 % in 2000. Private non-profits and foreign entities each contribute a small fraction of total R&D, 3.3% and 3.8%, respectively.[380]

US research and development budget by government agency, 1994–2014. Source: UNESCO Science Report: towards 2030, Figure 5.4, based on data from American Association for the Advancement of Science
The USA has historically been a leader in business R&D and innovation. The economic recession of 2008–2009 has had a lasting impact, however. While the major performers of R&D largely maintained their commitments, the pain of the U.S. recession was felt mainly by small businesses and start-ups. Statistics released by the U.S. Census Bureau showed that, in 2008, the number of business ‘deaths’ began overtaking the number of business ‘births’ and that the trend continued at least through 2012. From 2003 to 2008, business research spending had followed a generally upward trajectory. In 2009, the curve inverted, as expenditure fell by 4% over the previous year then again in 2010, albeit by 1–2% this time. Companies in high-opportunity industries like health care cut back less than those in more mature industries, such as fossil fuels. The largest cutbacks in R&D spending were in agriculture production: −3.5% compared to the average R&D to net sales ratio. The chemicals and allied products industry and electronic equipment industry, on the other hand, showed R&D to net sales ratios that were 3.8% and 4.8% higher than average. Although the amount of R&D spending increased in 2011, it was still below the level of 2008 expenditure. By 2012, the growth rate of business-funded R&D had recovered. Whether this continues will be contingent on the pursuit of economic recovery and growth, levels of federal research funding and the general business climate