Until 1980 the Federal Government had been the second largest R&D performer in the Nation. Its share of the national R&D performance total, however, fell from 16 percent in 1970 to 12 percent in 1980. This reduction was due primarily to cutbacks in space R&D programs: NASA funds for intramural R&D performance decreased by more than one half in real terms during this period. As a result, in 1980 the academic sector-including associated FFRDCs surpassed the Federal Government in share of national R&D performance.
Only three agencies had estimated intramural R&D expenditures that in 1994 exceeded $1.0 billion, including costs associated with planning and administering extramural R&D programs. These three agencies account for 80 percent of intramural R&D performed by all Federal agencies. Intramural R&D performance by DOD is estimated to have decreased by an inflation adjusted 1 percentage point to $8.8 billion. NASA's intramural real R&D is estimated to have increased 11 percent, to $2.6 billion, and that by the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) mostly by the National Institutes of Health rose by about 6 percent, to $2.2 billion. All other Federal agencies spent an estimated $3.6 billion on intramural R&D 40 percent of which came from the Departments of Agriculture and the Interior.