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Federally Funded R&D Centers Spend $17.8 Billion on R&D in FY 2011

NSF 13-316 | March 2013 | PDF format. PDF  
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by Ronda Britt[1]

The nation's 40 federally funded R&D centers (FFRDCs) spent $17.8 billion on research and development in FY 2011, according to data from the National Science Foundation (NSF).[2] Just over $850 million of the total was supplied by funds from the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA) of 2009 (table 1).

TABLE 1. R&D expenditures at federally funded research and development centers, by source of funds, FFRDCs ranked by total R&D expenditures: FY 2011
(Dollars in thousands)
All R&D expenditures Federal government State and local government Business Nonprofit organizations All other sources
Rank FFRDC Non-ARRA ARRA
All FFRDCs 17,808,443 16,532,748 852,547 26,744 189,951 60,506 145,947
1 Los Alamos National Lab. 2,307,197 2,164,725 101,814 0 40,658 0 0
2 Sandia National Labs. 2,277,166 2,225,028 12,008 185 26,216 2,175 11,554
3 Oak Ridge National Lab. 1,558,073 1,425,347 88,611 630 25,495 14,517 3,473
4 Jet Propulsion Lab. 1,543,969 1,519,426 24,543 0 0 0 0
5 Lawrence Livermore National Lab. 1,424,993 1,373,940 6,237 1,781 7,786 159 35,090
6 Pacific Northwest National Lab. 1,095,923 956,869 115,508 6,474 12,969 0 4,103
7 National Security Engineering Ctr. 941,187 941,187 0 0 0 0 0
8 Lincoln Lab. 822,358 819,664 0 0 259 0 2,435
9 Lawrence Berkeley National Lab. 788,386 643,708 89,212 8,410 13,113 11,692 22,251
10 Argonne National Lab. 710,435 592,567 70,627 3,772 20,642 2,000 20,827
11 Brookhaven National Lab. 526,571 406,383 98,108 1,826 7,326 0 12,928
12 National Cancer Institute at Frederick 431,600 431,600 0 0 0 0 0
13 Idaho National Lab. 425,072 410,657 4,363 553 7,355 489 1,655
14 Fermi National Accelerator Lab. 420,119 393,541 26,042 0 165 371 0
15 National Renewable Energy Lab. 386,539 245,530 125,008 548 15,447 0 6
16 SLAC National Accelerator Lab. 327,716 274,421 46,520 0 0 0 6,775
17 National Ctr. for Atmospheric Research 198,231 182,167 143 693 7,975 7,231 22
18 Ctr. for Enterprise Modernization 187,785 185,002 2,783 0 0 0 0
19 Ctr. for Advanced Aviation System Development 165,645 155,254 0 0 0 0 10,391
20 Studies and Analyses Ctr. 156,200 156,200 0 0 0 0 0
21 Savannah River National Lab. 134,530 124,569 9,961 0 0 0 0
22 Software Engineering Institute 107,837 107,322 26 0 489 0 0
23 Thomas Jefferson National Accelerator Facility 90,456 66,377 23,494 585 0 0 0
24 Ctr. for Naval Analyses 85,165 84,562 0 603 0 0 0
25 Homeland Security Systems Engineering and Development Institute 85,154 85,154 0 0 0 0 0
26 Princeton Plasma Physics Lab. 84,863 79,641 4,711 0 0 0 511
27 National Radio Astronomy Observatory 81,305 77,940 2,461 0 0 0 904
28 Ctr. for Communications and Computing 72,600 72,600 0 0 0 0 0
29 National Optical Astronomy Observatories 47,889 42,674 56 0 0 0 5,159
30 National Defense Research Institute 46,330 46,330 0 0 0 0 0
31 Aerospace FFRDC 45,827 13,511 0 0 3,593 21,628 7,095
32 Project Air Force 44,171 44,171 0 0 0 0 0
33 National Biodefense Analysis and Countermeasures Ctr. 41,786 41,786 0 0 0 0 0
34 Homeland Security Studies and Analysis Institute 36,699 36,699 0 0 0 0 0
35 Ames Lab. 32,442 31,160 311 671 214 0 86
36 Arroyo Ctr. 32,180 32,180 0 0 0 0 0
37 Ctr. for Nuclear Waste Regulatory Analyses 16,377 15,871 0 13 249 244 0
38 National Astronomy and Ionosphere Ctr. 14,317 13,635 0 0 0 0 682
39 Science and Technology Policy Institute 8,700 8,700 0 0 0 0 0
40 Judiciary Engineering and Modernization Ctr. 4,650 4,650 0 0 0 0 0

ARRA = American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009; FFRDC = federally funded research and development center.

SOURCE:  National Science Foundation/National Center for Science and Engineering Statistics, FFRDC Research and Development Survey: FY 2011.

Table 1 Source Data: Excel file

FFRDCs are privately operated R&D organizations that are exclusively or substantially financed by the federal government.[3] Federal funding (non–ARRA and ARRA) accounted for 97.6% ($17.4 billion) of the FFRDCs' total expenditures in FY 2011. The remaining expenditures were funded by businesses ($190 million), nonprofit organizations ($61 million), state and local government ($27 million), and other sources ($146 million).

Basic research activities accounted for 37% of total FFRDC R&D expenditures in FY 2011; applied research, 29%; and development, 34%.

With the exception of the Jet Propulsion Laboratory, sponsored by the National Aeronautics and Space Administration, the FFRDCs spending $1 billion or more on R&D in FY 2011 were all national laboratories sponsored by the Department of Energy (DOE). The FFRDC reporting the largest amount of ARRA–funded expenditures ($125 million) was DOE's National Renewable Energy Laboratory. ARRA funds supported 32% of its total expenditures in FY 2011 (table 1).

R&D expenditures within FFRDCs have grown by over $2 billion (14%) from FY 2008 to FY 2011. Industry–administered FFRDCs have consistently outspent those managed by universities or nonprofit organizations (figure 1).


FIGURE 1.  R&D expenditures at federally financed research and development centers, by type of FFRDC: FY 2008–11

  Figure 1 Source Data: Excel file

Data Sources, Limitations, and Availability

The statistics on FFRDC R&D presented in this report come from the FY 2011 NSF FFRDC R&D Survey. This annual survey is completed by FFRDC administrators and collects data from FFRDCs on R&D expenditures by source of funds (federal, state and local, business, nonprofit organizations, or other), character of work (basic research, applied research, or development), and type of cost (salaries, software, equipment, subcontracts, or indirect costs). This survey has been a census of the full population of FFRDCs since FY 2001.

Between FY 2010 and FY 2011, five FFRDCs managed by the MITRE Corporation reevaluated their reporting methodology and submitted revisions to their previous–year data. Prior to the FY 2011 survey they had only reported internally funded R&D expenditures. After discussions with NSF, these five FFRDCs agreed to report all FY 2011 operating expenditures for R&D and to revise FY 2008–2010 data. The revisions contributed an additional $1.16 billion to the total R&D expenditures for FY 2008, $1.19 billion to FY 2009, and $1.24 billion to FY 2010.

Reporting corrections from several FFRDCs between FY 2010 and FY 2011 led to a slight decrease in total reported expenditures in FY 2011. The survey is intended to capture only current operating expenditures; however, prior to FY 2011 several FFRDCs had been including capital project costs in their R&D totals. Corrections were made for FY 2011 that lowered total expenditures by $468 million. The amount of capital expenditures included in previous years is unknown but is estimated to be less than $500 million per year.

The full set of detailed tables from this survey will be available in the report FFRDC Research and Development Expenditures: Fiscal Year 2011 at http://www.nsf.gov/statistics/ffrdc/. Individual detailed tables from the FY 2011 survey may be available in advance of publication of the full report. For further information, please contact the author.

Notes

[1] Ronda Britt, Research and Development Statistics Program, National Center for Science and Engineering Statistics, National Science Foundation, 4201 Wilson Boulevard, Suite 965, Arlington, VA 22230.(rbritt@nsf.gov; 703-292-7765).

[2] The number of FFRDCs increased from 39 in FY 2010 to 40 in FY 2011 due to the addition of the Judiciary Engineering and Modernization Center, established as an FFRDC at the end of FY 2010.

[3] Several FFRDCs are prohibited from accepting nonfederal R&D funding. For a description of the federal guidelines and definitions governing FFRDCs, see the "General Notes" section of the NSF's Master Government List of FFRDCs at http://www.nsf.gov/statistics/ffrdclist/gennotes.cfm . The Master Government List of FFRDCs is accessible at http://www.nsf.gov/statistics/ffrdclist/ .


National Science Foundation, National Center for Science and Engineering Statistics
Federally Funded R&D Centers Spend $17.8 Billion on R&D in FY 2011
Arlington, VA (NSF 13-316) [March 2013]


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