Basic research (also called pure research or fundamental research) is a systematic study directed toward greater knowledge or understanding of the fundamental aspects of phenomena. Basic research is executed without thought of a practical end goal, without specific applications or products in mind. It includes all branches of science and engineering. Basic research has been described as arising out of curiosity. Basic research is contrasted with applied research, which is research focused on a particular problem or application. Basic research lays the foundation for advancements in knowledge that lead to applied gains later on, occasionally as a result of unexpected discoveries. The International Council for Science, in a December 2004 position statement, urged support for and adequate public investment in basic research, stating that basic science, innovation, and development are intertwined. In the United States, pure research is mainly carried out by universities and institutes financed by the government. However, in the 2010s, as appropriations for government research have decreased or remained stagnate, funding by wealthy entrepreneurs has emerged as a significant source of support.