November 2020

We report how ~$900m of public and philanthropic research funding has been invested into blast injury-related research & blast traumatic brain injury (bTBI) over the last two decades.

There is little systematic tracking or detailed analysis of investments in research and development for blast injury to support decision-making around research future funding. This study examined global investments into blast injury-related research from public and philanthropic funders across 2000–2019. A total of 806 awards were identified into blast injury-related research globally, equating to US$902.1 million (m, £565.9m GBP). There was a general increase in year-on-year investment between 2003 and 2009 followed by a consistent decline in annual funding since 2010. Pre-clinical research received $671.3 m (74.4%) of investment. Brain-related injury research received $427.7 m (47.4%), orthopaedic injury $138.6 m (15.4%), eye injury $63.7 m (7.0%) and ear injury $60.5m (6.7%). Blast TBI research received a total investment of $384.3 m, representing 42.6% of all blast injury-related research. The U.S. Department of Defense funded $719.3 m (80%). Investment data suggest that blast TBI research has received greater funding than other blast injury health areas. The funding pattern observed can be seen as reactive, driven by the response to the War on Terror, the rising profile of blast TBI and congressionally mandated research.

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