International Portfolio Analysis Report
Autism Spectrum Disorder Research
The 2016 International ASD Research Portfolio Analysis Report includes Australia, Canada, the United Kingdom, and the United States and represents the first year that data on ASD research funding were collected and reported on a global scale. This report was an opportunity to assess current investments in ASD research among different countries and see areas in need of funding in the future. Data were collected from public body entities and private organizations in each country and the diverse missions of each funder are reflected within the portfolio.
In 2016, the total funding for ASD research totaled $395.9 million and spanned 1,552 projects. The U.S. was the largest contributor with 92% of total ASD research funding. When comparing the percentage of each country's portfolio towards the seven research areas, there were similarities and differences among the four countries. All of the countries had large investments investigating the underlying biology of ASD as well as investigating and developing treatments and interventions. However, among the four countries funding varied across the other research areas.
While each country contributed funding or maintained ongoing projects in each of the seven research priority areas, research in services and lifespan issues had the least amount of combined funding and number of projects. In recent years, members of the autism community have advocated for greater funding in these areas of ASD research. The profile of funding presented in this report demonstrates that these areas are still in need of more investment. For research areas that were well-funded, the comparison of each country's portfolio provides opportunities for further collaboration and scientific progress.
Future iterations of this report will hopefully include more countries and additional funders to more fully identify ASD research efforts around the world. As the portfolio expands and we monitor research funding over several years, there is a greater opportunity to track trends in research, detect and address knowledge gaps, recognize emerging new fields, and guide future international research partnerships and priorities. Through a global unified effort and more strategic approach, the research field can accelerate the translation of science into practice that can better serve the needs of autistic people, their families, and their communities.