US companies invested heavily in research and development from 1995 to 1997, according to a National Science Foundation (website) survey. The rate of R&D expenditures even outpaced the US economy as a whole. The foundation predicted that total R&D spending for 1997 will reach $205.7 billion. The projection represents a 6.5 percent increase over the $193.2 billion spent in 1996. Since 1994, R&D spending has jumped each year. The $193.2 billion for 1996 represents a 5.6 percent increase in R&D over 1995. The 1995 figure marked a leap of 8.6 percent over 1994. While industry continues to spend more on R&D projects, funding continues to decline. In 1997, the federal government spent $62.7 billion, a decline of 2.7 percent from the previous year. Since 1990, federal sponsorship of national R&D has dropped off steadily. According to the survey, federal spending in 1997 accounted for 30.5 percent of the total spending, the lowest share reported in the National Science Foundation's data series.