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News Release 13-052

Federally-funded Research and Development Centers Spend $17.8 Billion in Fiscal Year 2011

Federal funding accounted for 97.6 percent of total expenditures by FFRCDs in FY 2011

Closeup photo of a microscope

Privately operated R&D organizations benefit from American Recovery and Reinvestment Act funding.

March 26, 2013

This material is available primarily for archival purposes. Telephone numbers or other contact information may be out of date; please see current contact information at media contacts.

The nation's 40 federally-funded research and development centers (FFRDCs) spent $17.8 billion on research and development (R&D) in fiscal year (FY) 2011, according to a recent report from the National Science Foundation. More than $850 million of the total was supplied by funds from the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009.

FFRDCs are privately operated R&D organizations financed by the federal government. They include national labs and observatories. Federal funding accounted for 97.6 percent, or $17.4 billion, of the FFRDCs' total expenditures in FY 2011. The remaining $190 million in expenditures were funded by businesses, nonprofit organizations ($61 million), state and local government ($27 million), and other sources ($146 million).

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

R&D expenditures within FFRDCs have grown by more than $2 billion, or 14 percent, from FY 2008 to FY 2011.

For more information on this report, please contact Ronda Britt.

Please visit the NSF's National Center for Science and Engineering Statistics (NCSES) for more reports and other products.


Media Contacts
Deborah Wing, NSF, (703) 292-5344, email:
Bobbie Mixon, NSF, (703) 292-8070, email:

Program Contacts
Ronda Britt, NSF, (703) 292-7765, email:

The National Science Foundation (NSF) is an independent federal agency that supports fundamental research and education across all fields of science and engineering. In fiscal year (FY) 2020, its budget is $8.3 billion. NSF funds reach all 50 states through grants to nearly 2,000 colleges, universities and other institutions. Each year, NSF receives more than 50,000 competitive proposals for funding and makes about 12,000 new funding awards.

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