Search This Blog


White Press Office Feed

Thursday, April 23, 2015


Federally funded R&D center spending declined, latest figures say

Spending has fallen since one-time federal infusion of funds in fiscal year 2009
The majority of the nation's federally funded R&D centers (FFRDCs) reported spending less on research and development in fiscal year 2013 than they had the previous year, according to a new InfoBrief from the National Science Foundation's National Center for Science and Engineering Statistics (NCSES).

The report details that the 40 federally-funded centers spent $16.9 billion on research and development in fiscal year 2013. Of those, 24 reported declines from fiscal year 2012, and 17 reported two straight years of decreased spending.

Federal funding for the centers has been declining since a high of $18 billion in total spending was reported in fiscal year 2010. That peak corresponded with the one-time American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 (ARRA), which accounted for more than $1 billion of federal R&D expenditures to FFRDCs in fiscal year 2010. In contrast, ARRA-funded expenditures to all FFRDCs combined amounted to $170 million in fiscal year 2013, or 1 percent of federal R&D expenditures.

Basic research accounted for 24.8 percent of total FFRDC research and development expenditures in fiscal year 2013, a significant drop from the reported 35.2-percent share for the previous year. A major contributor to that decrease was a re-evaluation of the reported distribution of activities by Los Alamos National Laboratory. Five of the 40 laboratories--Los Alamos, Sandia, Oak Ridge, Lawrence Livermore and the NASA-sponsored Jet Propulsion Laboratory--account for half of the total reported R&D spending.

FFRDCs are privately operated organizations that the government funds exclusively or substantially. Since 2001, federal funding accounted for over 96 percent of their total R&D spending.

See more from this report: Majority of Federally Funded R&D Centers Report Declines in R&D Spending in FY 2013.

For more information and statistical products please visit NSF's National Center for Science and Engineering Statistics.

Media Contacts
Rob Margetta, NSF,