A number of manufacturing and nonmanufacturing sectors have outsized R&D intensities that are broadly critical to the innovative strength of the U.S. economy. Pharmaceuticals and aerospace are two manufacturing sectors with strong innovation investment propensities. During 2011, R&D investment in pharmaceuticals and medicine was 11.8 percent of domestic net sales, nearly three times the manufacturing average. In aerospace, R&D investment was 11.3 percent of domestic net sales.
While nonmanufacturing industries as a whole are not as R&D-intensive as manufacturing, certain sectors exhibit strong investment behavior and have emerged as key players. During 2011, domestic R&D was 24.4 percent of domestic net sales in scientific R&D services and 9.5 percent for software publishers. The transition to customer-responsive, lean supply chains in U.S. manufacturing as well as the implementation of scientific advancements that are changing both the product and process profile for domestic U.S. manufacturers are no doubt one motivator of research and development in these service.