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Start with local universities. Boston's Massachusetts Institute of Technology and Harvard spent a combined $1.9 billion on all research in 2015, according to the latest figures available from the National Science Foundation. UCLA and Stanford, the powerhouse of Silicon Valley, spent more than $1 billion dollars. Texas spends its research dollars in Austin and College Station, with the University of Texas and Texas A&M budgeting a combined $1.4 billion.
Houston's primary universities, Rice and the University of Houston, spent a combined $160 million. Most of the federal research dollars that Houston wins go to scientists at the Texas Medical Center, not wind turbine inventors like Daniel Araya.