Table 1. Federal obligations for total R&D, selected agencies and performers, fiscal year 1994

 

Total

Labs-total

Intramural

FFRDC

Share of total R&D, %

Share of lab R&D, %

Share of intramural, %

Share of FFRDC, %

All agencies

71,244

22,966

17,542

5424

 

Defense, development

33,107

8,613

7,651

962

46.5

37.5

43.6

17.7

Defense, research

4,416

1,634

1,515

119

6.2

7.1

8.6

2.2

DHHS

10,722

2,285

2,213

72

15.0

9.9

12.6

1.3

NIH

10,075

1,980

1,908

72

14.1

8.6

10.9

1.3

NASA

8,637

3,356

2,653

703

12.1

14.6

15.1

13.0

Energy

6,582

3,822*

500

3322

9.2

16.6

2.9

61.2

NSF

2,217

148

17

131

3.1

0.6

0.1

2.4

Agriculture

1,368

901

901

0

1.9

3.9

5.1

0.0

ARS

640

609

609

0

0.9

2.7

3.5

0.0

Forest Service

215

180

180

0

0.3

0.8

1.0

0.0

Commerce

897

655

654

1

1.3

2.9

3.7

0.0

NIST

382

244

244

0

0.5

1.1

1.4

0.0

NOAA

504

400

399

1

0.7

1.7

2.3

0.0

Transportation

688

280

253

27

1.0

1.2

1.4

0.5

EPA

656

135

135

0

0.9

0.6

0.8

0.0

Interior

588

517

517

0

0.8

2.3

2.9

0.0

USGS

362

332

332

0

0.5

1.4

1.9

0.0

All other

1,366

620

533

87

1.9

2.7

3.0

1.6

Data are from ref. 3, table 9, pp. 26–28. DHHS, Department of Health and Human Services; NIH, National Institutes of Health; NASA, National Aeronautics and Space Administration; NSF, National Science Foundation; ARS, Agricultural Experiment Station; NIST, National Institute of Standards and Technology; NOAA, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration; USGS, U.S. Geological Survey; federally funded research and development corporations (FFRDCs).

*Not including Bettis, Hanford, and Knolls, former FFRDCs, which were decertified in 1992. Obligations for these facilities are now reported as obligations to industrial firms.

activities in the United States more generally. Furthermore, increased expenditures on entitlement programs for the elderly and resistance to further tax increases has placed further pressure on budget levels at the laboratories. The budgets of most federal laboratories have been constant or declining in recent years, and expectations are that reductions will continue.

In contrast to these trends, in the early 1980s the federal laboratories were called on to expand their activities. Responding to the perceived productivity slow-down in the 1970s, and later, the increased competition of foreign firms in high-tech industries, efforts were undertaken by the laboratories to improve the technology employed by U.S. firms. The Stevenson-Wydler Act of 1980 established “technology transfer” as a role of all federal laboratories. Whereas the original Stevenson-Wydler Act had few teeth, it ushered in a decade of legislative activity designed to expand laboratory activities in promoting private technology development. The primary innovation in laboratory activities has been the development of cooperative research and development agreements, or CRADAs, which provide a mechanism for industry to enter into cooperative, cost-shared research with government laboratories. In 1993, the Clinton Administration proposed that these activities would not only be pursued, but would substitute for the decline in traditional activities at the national laboratories (4, 5). President Clinton proposed devoting 10–20% of the federal laboratory budgets to these programs. That number has not been reached, although CRADA activity has been impressive. The President’s 1996 Budget claims that 6093 CRADA partnerships had been entered into by fiscal year 1995, with a value (including cash and noncash contributions of public and private entities) of over $5 billion (6). Some estimates of the size and distribution of CRADAs are provided in Table 2.

The past 2 years have witnessed a retreat from the policy of promoting commercial technology development at the labo-

Table 2. Number and industry of CRADAs by agency, 1993

 

Distribution of 1993 CRADAs by industrial technology

 

Biological

Manufacturing

Information technology

Computer software

Energy

Other

Agency

Total

Medical

Other

Aerospace

Automobile

Chemical

Other

Agriculture

103

1

47

1

0

12

31

0

1

2

8

Commerce

144

1

2

17

1

21

33

44

7

8

10

Defense

 

Air

73

1

2

7

1

2

2

33

16

3

6

Army

87

19

6

2

4

3

27

9

3

0

14

Navy

46

9

0

4

2

1

10

13

5

0

2

Total

206

29

8

13

7

6

39

55

24

3

22

Energy

368

14

10

21

20

35

86

86

18

61

17

EPA

5

1

2

0

0

0

0

0

0

1

1

HHS

25

25

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

Interior

15

0

1

0

0

3

8

0

0

0

3

Transportation

14

0

0

12

0

1

0

0

0

1

0

Total

880

71

70

64

28

78

189

185

50

76

61

Data from ref. 7.



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