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Federally Funded R&D Centers Report Declines in R&D Spending in FY 2012

NSF 14-308 | January 2014| PDF format. PDF  
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by Ronda Britt[1]

The nation’s 39 federally funded research and development centers (FFRDCs) spent $17.4 billion on research and development in FY 2012, according to data from the National Science Foundation (NSF).[2] This was a slight decline from the $17.8 billion spent in FY 2011 (table 1).

TABLE 1. Total and ARRA-funded R&D expenditures at federally funded research and development centers, by FFRDC: FYs 2010–12
(Dollars in thousands)
2010 2011a 2012
Funded by ARRA Funded by ARRA Funded by ARRA
FFRDC Total Amount Percent Total Amount Percent Total Amount Percent
All FFRDCs 18,044,105 1,048,028 5.8 17,808,614 771,602 4.3 17,446,036 352,251 2.0
Aerospace FFRDC 44,149 0 0.0 45,827 0 0.0 39,746 0 0.0
Ames Lab. 30,836 30 0.1 32,442 311 1.0 33,853 257 0.8
Argonne National Lab. 650,504 77,017 11.8 710,435 70,627 9.9 679,387 27,426 4.0
Arroyo Ctr. 28,647 0 0.0 32,180 0 0.0 31,278 0 0.0
Brookhaven National Lab. 535,546 49,712 9.3 526,571 98,108 18.6 516,921 5,656 1.1
Ctr. for Advanced Aviation System Development 149,686 0 0.0 165,645 0 0.0 159,311 0 0.0
Ctr. for Communications and Computing 71,927 0 0.0 72,600 0 0.0 62,600 0 0.0
Ctr. for Enterprise Modernization 170,460 401 0.2 187,785 2,783 1.5 226,539 928 0.4
Ctr. for Naval Analyses 109,068 0 0.0 85,165 0 0.0 91,628 0 0.0
Ctr. for Nuclear Waste Regulatory Analyses 15,346 0 0.0 16,377 0 0.0 13,147 0 0.0
Fermi National Accelerator Lab. 402,658 19,474 4.8 420,119 26,042 6.2 412,438 23,982 5.8
Frederick National Lab. for Cancer Research 643,935 183,335 28.5 431,600 0 0.0 430,100 0 0.0
Homeland Security Studies and Analysis Institute 33,402 0 0.0 36,870 0 0.0 30,213 0 0.0
Homeland Security Systems Engineering and Development Institute 58,715 0 0.0 85,154 0 0.0 77,159 0 0.0
ID National Lab. 478,356 3,536 0.7 425,072 4,363 1.0 536,399 5,653 1.1
Jet Propulsion Lab. 1,640,341 101,205 6.2 1,543,969 24,543 1.6 1,493,613 3,746 0.3
Judiciary Engineering and Modernization Ctr.b na na na 4,650 0 0.0 5,309 0 0.0
Lawrence Berkeley National Lab. 759,381 80,399 10.6 788,386 89,212 11.3 767,554 55,262 7.2
Lawrence Livermore National Lab. 1,370,747 3,624 0.3 1,424,993 6,237 0.4 1,353,454 6,170 0.5
Lincoln Lab. 789,502 NA NA 822,358 0 0.0 873,104 272 0.0
Los Alamos National Lab. 2,505,913 139,376 5.6 2,307,197 101,814 4.4 2,056,878 13,663 0.7
National Astronomy and Ionosphere Ctr.c 13,203 0 0.0 14,317 0 0.0 na na na
National Biodefense Analysis and Countermeasures Ctr. 50,058 0 0.0 41,786 0 0.0 31,201 0 0.0
National Ctr. for Atmospheric Research 220,328 464 0.2 198,231 143 0.1 169,743 132 0.1
National Defense Research Institute 51,652 0 0.0 46,330 0 0.0 53,832 0 0.0
National Optical Astronomy Observatories 57,145 9,125 16.0 47,889 56 0.1 46,557 2,216 4.8
National Radio Astronomy Observatory 137,607 2,539 1.8 81,305 2,461 3.0 79,168 886 1.1
National Renewable Energy Lab. 326,652 36,383 11.1 386,539 44,063 11.4 398,873 26,984 6.8
National Security Engineering Ctr. 925,027 0 0.0 941,187 0 0.0 946,737 0 0.0
Oak Ridge National Lab. 1,538,412 134,856 8.8 1,558,073 88,611 5.7 1,553,460 95,600 6.2
Pacific Northwest National Lab. 1,116,648 112,870 10.1 1,095,923 115,508 10.5 1,033,768 59,750 5.8
Princeton Plasma Physics Lab. 83,932 6,132 7.3 84,863 4,711 5.6 81,389 778 1.0
Project Air Force 43,957 0 0.0 44,171 0 0.0 41,031 0 0.0
Sandia National Labs. 2,157,022 14,073 0.7 2,277,166 12,008 0.5 2,293,307 5,056 0.2
Savannah River National Lab. 127,160 17,175 13.5 134,530 9,961 7.4 132,357 2,158 1.6
Science and Technology Policy Institute 6,000 0 0.0 8,700 0 0.0 7,547 0 0.0
SLAC National Accelerator Lab. 354,393 32,796 9.3 327,716 46,520 14.2 329,747 8,564 2.6
Software Engineering Institute 99,334 12 0.0 107,837 26 0.0 113,371 65 0.1
Studies and Analyses Ctr. 156,000 0 0.0 156,200 0 0.0 149,150 0 0.0
Thomas Jefferson National Accelerator Facility 90,456 23,494 26.0 90,456 23,494 26.0 94,167 7,047 7.5

na = not applicable; NA = not available.

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

a R&D expenditures decreased in FY 2011 due to removal of expenditures for capital projects. Beginning with the FY 2011 survey, R&D expenditures do not include capital projects. In previous years, some FFRDCs included capital expenditures in their R&D totals. Previous years include an unknown amount of capital expenditures, estimated to be less than $500 million per year.
b On 2 September 2010, the Judiciary Engineering and Modernization Center was created.
c On 1 October 2011, the National Astronomy and Ionosphere Center was decertified as an FFRDC.

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

Table 1 Source Data: Excel file

FFRDCs are privately operated R&D organizations that are exclusively or substantially financed by the federal government.[3] FFRDCs provide the sponsoring federal agencies with capabilities to meet special long-term R&D needs that cannot be met as effectively by existing in-house or contractor resources. They enable agencies to use private sector resources to accomplish tasks that are integral to the mission and operation of the sponsoring agency. FFRDC organization ranges from traditional contractor-owned/contractor-operated or government-owned/contractor-operated structures to various degrees of contractor-government control and ownership. Each FFRDC is operated, managed, or administered by a university or university consortium, a nonprofit organization, or an industrial firm, either as an autonomous organization or as a separate operating unit of a parent organization. FFRDCs perform R&D for both defense and civilian applications and across a broad range of science and engineering fields.

Federal funding accounted for 97.5% ($17.0 billion) of the FFRDC’s total expenditures in FY 2012 (table 2). Between FY 2010 and FY 2012, FFRDC’s R&D expenditures were boosted by $2.2 billion in funding provided by the one-time American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 (ARRA).

TABLE 2. R&D expenditures at federally funded research and development centers, by source of funds: FY 2012
(Dollars in thousands)
Source of funds All FFRDCs
All R&D expenditures 17,446,036
Federal government 17,006,331
State and local government 39,428
Business 184,244
Nonprofit organizations 77,120
All other sources 138,913

FFRDC = federally funded research and development center.

SOURCE: National Science Foundation, National Center for Science and Engineering Statistics, FFRDC Research and Development Survey, FY 2012.

Table 2 Source Data: Excel file

In addition to federal funding, many FFRDCs receive funding and perform work for nonfederal sponsors. However, nonfederal sources accounted for just 2.5% ($440 million) of the FFRDC total expenditures (table 2). In FY 2012, FFRDCs reported $184 million in R&D expenditures funded by businesses, $77 million funded by nonprofit organizations, $39 million funded by state and local governments, and an additional $139 million funded by all other nonfederal sources.

The type of work performed across the FFRDCs was fairly evenly distributed between basic research (35.2% of total expenditures), applied research (30.7%), and development (34.1%) in FY 2012 (table 3). However, there was much greater variation in these proportions when looking at individual FFRDCs. Ten FFRDCs (8 of them university administered) reported that basic research expenditures comprised 70% or more of their total spending, 13 FFRDCs reported that over 70% of their spending was on applied research, and 8 FFRDCs classified at least 70% of their spending as development.

TABLE 3. Total R&D expenditures at federally funded research and development centers, by character of work and FFRDC: FY 2012
FFRDC Sponsor Location All R&D expenditures (US$thousands) Basic research (%) Applied research (%) Development (%)
All FFRDCs 17,446,036 35.2 30.7 34.1
University administered 5,174,091 41.7 26.8 31.5
Ames Lab. DOE Ames, IA 33,853 70.6 25.6 3.7
Argonne National Lab. DOE Argonne, IL 679,387 44.9 27.1 28.0
Fermi National Accelerator Lab. DOE Batavia, IL 412,438 100.0 0.0 0.0
Jet Propulsion Lab. NASA Pasadena, CA 1,493,613 10.0 10.0 80.0
Lawrence Berkeley National Lab. DOE Berkeley, CA 767,554 73.3 26.6 0.1
Lincoln Lab. DOD, OSD Lexington, MA 873,104 0.0 90.7 9.3
National Ctr. for Atmospheric Research NSF Boulder, CO 169,743 49.1 16.4 34.5
National Optical Astronomy Observatories NSF Tucson, AZ 46,557 100.0 0.0 0.0
National Radio Astronomy Observatory NSF Charlottesville, VA 79,168 90.3 6.4 3.4
Princeton Plasma Physics Lab. DOE Princeton, NJ 81,389 100.0 0.0 0.0
SLAC National Accelerator Lab. DOE Stanford, CA 329,747 100.0 0.0 0.0
Software Engineering Institute DOD, OSD Pittsburgh, PA 113,371 0.0 13.2 86.8
Thomas Jefferson National Accelerator Facility DOE Newport News, VA 94,167 100.0 0.0 0.0
Nonprofit administered 5,464,141 28.1 29.1 42.9
Aerospace FFRDC DOD, Air Force El Segundo, CA 39,746 6.7 76.5 16.9
Arroyo Ctr. DOD, Army Santa Monica, CA 31,278 0.0 100.0 0.0
Brookhaven National Lab. DOE Upton, NY 516,921 77.8 10.0 12.2
Ctr. for Advanced Aviation System Development DOT, FAA McLean, VA 159,311 0.0 5.1 94.9
Ctr. for Communications and Computing DOD, NSA/CSS Alexandria, VA 62,600 25.0 50.0 25.0
Ctr. for Enterprise Modernization Treasury (IRS), VA McLean, VA 226,539 0.0 5.5 94.5
Ctr. for Naval Analyses DOD, Navy Alexandria, VA 91,628 0.0 100.0 0.0
Ctr. for Nuclear Waste Regulatory Analyses NRC San Antonio, TX 13,147 0.0 100.0 0.0
Homeland Security Studies and Analysis Institute DHS Arlington, VA 30,213 0.0 100.0 0.0
Homeland Security Systems Engineering and Development Institute DHS McLean, VA 77,159 0.0 2.4 97.6
National Biodefense Analysis and Countermeasures Ctr. DHS Frederick, MD 31,201 0.0 100.0 0.0
National Defense Research Institute DOD, OSD Santa Monica, CA 53,832 0.0 100.0 0.0
National Renewable Energy Lab. DOE Golden, CO 398,873 4.3 19.4 76.3
National Security Engineering Ctr. DOD, OSD Bedford, MA; McLean, VA 946,737 0.0 5.2 94.8
Oak Ridge National Lab. DOE Oak Ridge, TN 1,553,460 55.6 44.4 0.0
Pacific Northwest National Lab. DOE Richland, WA 1,033,768 22.4 18.2 59.5
Project Air Force DOD, Air Force Santa Monica, CA 41,031 0.0 100.0 0.0
Science and Technology Policy Institute NSF Washington, DC 7,547 0.0 100.0 0.0
Studies and Analyses Ctr. DOD, OSD Alexandria, VA 149,150 0.0 100.0 0.0
Industry administered 6,807,804 35.9 35.1 29.0
Frederick National Lab. for Cancer Research NIH Frederick, MD 430,100 11.1 88.9 0.0
ID National Lab. DOE Idaho Falls, ID 536,399 6.0 51.0 43.0
Judiciary Engineering and Modernization Ctr. U.S McLean, VA 5,309 0.0 5.6 94.4
Lawrence Livermore National Lab. DOE Livermore, CA 1,353,454 12.3 74.3 13.4
Los Alamos National Lab. DOE Los Alamos, NM 2,056,878 100.0 0.0 0.0
Sandia National Labs. DOE Albuquerque, NM 2,293,307 5.9 28.7 65.4
Savannah River National Lab. DOE Aiken, SC 132,357 5.0 50.0 45.0

DOD = Department of Defense; DOE = Department of Energy; DHS = Department of Homeland Security; DOT = Department of Transportation; FAA = Federal Aviation Administration; FFRDC = federally funded research and development center; IRS = Internal Revenue Service; NASA = National Aeronautics and Space Administration; NIH = National Institutes of Health; NRC = Nuclear Regulatory Commission; NSA/CSS = National Security Agency/Central Security Service; NSF = National Science Foundation; OSD = Office of the Secretary of Defense; VA = Department of Veterans Affairs.

SOURCE: National Science Foundation, National Center for Science and Engineering Statistics, FFRDC Research and Development Survey, FY 2012.

Table 3 Source Data: Excel file

Data Sources, Limitations, and Availability

The statistics on FFRDC R&D presented in this report come from the FY 2012 NSF FFRDC Research and Development Survey. This annual survey is completed by FFRDC staff and 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.

The full set of detailed tables from this survey will be available at http://www.nsf.gov/statistics/ffrdc/. Individual detailed tables from the FY 2012 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 decreased from 40 to 39 in FY 2012 due to the decertification of the National Astronomy and Ionosphere Center located in Arecibo Puerto Rico on 1 October 2011.

[3] 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. Current and previous Master Government Lists of FFRDCs are accessible at http://www.nsf.gov/statistics/ffrdclist/. The FFRDCs surveyed here include those in existence prior to October 2011, the beginning of fiscal year 2012.


National Science Foundation, National Center for Science and Engineering Statistics
Federally Funded R&D Centers Report Declines in R&D Spending in FY 2012
Arlington, VA (NSF 14-308) [January 2014]


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