By field, engineering accounted for about 34 percent of the university FFRDC funding total, and physical science R&D was 38 percent. Within universities and colleges, engineering and the physical sciences accounted for 16 and 11 percent, respectively, of R&D performance. Life sciences accounted for 54 percent of universities' R&D total but a considerably smaller share (4 percent) of the university FFRDC R&D (tables B-34 and B-36).
From 1974 to 1980 academically administered FFRDCs increased their R&D performance by almost 60 percent in real terms. This increase largely mirrored the Federal emphasis on energy programs. Since 1980 the Federal shift from energy to defense has resulted in much slower growth in FFRDC R&D performance-a 28 percent gain in real terms, or about one half the growth in more than twice the time. Indeed, after adjusting for inflation, estimated FFRDC R&D performance has been virtually level since the mid 1980s.