I have found a Wikipedia page ranking countries based on amount of funding and GDP. Is there a list that breaks this down further by funding agencies?

For example, the wiki list says US funding, but I imagine it's not so simple or clear where it comes from. For example, it's not clear how much comes from NSF, NIH, and DARPA.

How can I find out the largest funding agnecies in the world?

  • any reason for the random up and down votes? Sep 27, 2014 at 23:47

3 Answers 3


I have not found a worlwide list, but I would suggest you to ask for a Demo in these websites:

I found the links here.


The numbers in the wikipedia table you link to are suspect in my mind. The source article doesn't provide the data that the wiki article suggest. If we believe the data that are in that article, private industry in the US spends $280 billion on R&D while the government spends $126 billion. While the private industry funding is staggeringly large, it probably means that no individual company is spending huge amounts and therefore can probably be left out of your ranking.

Of the $126 billion that the US spends, the DOD and NIH spend $64 billion and $26 billion respectively on research which is 70% of the pot. Additionally, NASA, NSF, FDA, and DARPA have budgets of $18, $7, $4, and $2.8 billion, respectively. While that is not all R&D, it probably covers the big players.

As for other countries, the RCUK, which is the major funder in the UK has a total budget of £3 billion which is spread over the 7 sub councils. In Germany, the DFG and MPI have budgets of €2.7 and €1.5 billion.

If we ignore Japan and China (and I have no idea who funds research in those countries), the list looks like

  • US DOD: $64 billion
  • US NIH: $26 billion
  • US NASA: $18 billion (maybe if they actually do R&D)
  • US NFS: $7 billion
  • everybody else:
  • To me the Wikipedia table seems a dubious comparison tool as it crunches together data from all kinds of sources. The more comparable sources seem to be the OECD and the UNESCO which are also sometimes used in the Wikipedia table. Mar 9, 2015 at 17:16

StrongBad has already correctly identified the biggest funding agencies in the US. Nonetheless, here are some more European:

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