CRS Report for Congress
Received through the CRS Web
Federal R&D Funding: A Concise History
Updated August 14, 1998
Senior Specialist in Science and Technology
Science, Technology, and Medicine Division
Congressional Research Service ˜ The Library of Congress
Federal R&D Funding: A Concise History
Prior to World War II, federal R&D funding was generally small and focused
on specific items of direct interest to the federal government such as exploration of
federal lands. In the 20th century, the federal role expanded to include research
related to public health concerns, national security (World War I), and some limited
efforts to help U.S. business, including research on aeronautics and standards.
The research effort accompanying World War II set off a major expansion of
federal R&D funding after the war. Total R&D funding increased from a little over
$5.5 billion in 1947 to about $71.4 billion in FY1998, in 1998 dollars. Funding for
R&D over that period has been largely guided by policy emerging from a 1945 report
on science research by Vannevar Bush. Several other policy initiatives, however,
have also driven R&D funding over that period including expansion of the space
program during the 1960s, response to the oil embargos in the 1970s, the defense
buildup of the late 1970s and early 1980s, and actions to assist economic growth in
A major feature of federal R&D funding in the last 50 years has been the steady
and growing support of basic research. That the federal government should be the
primary funding source for basic research was the key recommendation of the Bush
report and has since been a constant of federal R&D policy. While much federally
funded basic research is performed in support of agency missions, most is performed
at the nation’s universities primarily to advance knowledge for its own sake.
Currently, federal R&D support appears to be high in the Congress and
Administration. Efforts over the past 4 years to balance the federal budget have not
resulted in the reduction in federal R&D funds as was first projected. Indeed, civilian
R&D funding has continued to grow in constant dollar terms. In addition, Congress
is undertaking efforts to establish a new science policy to guide federal R&D efforts
for the next several decades.
There appears to be considerable support in Congress for continuing federal
support of R&D as a high budget priority. The pressures on federal spending
resulting from the budget caps adopted in 1997, however, will continue to mount
even in the face of this support and growing budget surpluses. As a result, continued
growth in R&D might be increasingly difficult to achieve.
Introduction . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 1
Federal R&D - Historical Overview . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 1
Prior to World War II . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 1
Post-World War II . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 3
Basic Research Since World War II . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 6
Federal R&D - Current Status . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 8
Outlook . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 10
Appendix - R&D Funding Data . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 12
List of Figures
Civilian and Defense R&D Outlays: 1954-1998 . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 4
Civilian R&D Outlays by Function: 1954-1998 . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 4
Basic Research Obligations by Agency: 1954-1998 . . . . . . . . . . . . . 7
Civilian R&D - Projections and Appropriations Comparison . . . . 9
List of Tables
Total Federal R&D Outlays - 1950-1998 . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 12
Federal Civilian R&D Outlays by Function . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 13
Federal Civilian R&D Outlays by Function . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 14
Basic Research Obligations - 1954-1998 . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 15
Federal R&D Funding: A Concise History
Federal support of R&D began almost as soon as the Republic was formed.
Until World War II, however, federal R&D funds were generally a very small
fraction of total federal expenditures. The success of federally funded R&D during
the Second World War was the incentive for policy decisions, which greatly
accelerated federal R&D support. Although national security was the prime
motivation of this increased federal role, other reasons emerged as the recognition
grew of the importance of science and technology for meeting most national goals.
The federal government has funded all parts of the R&D cycle — basic and
applied research, development, and demonstration. Basic research support, however,
has been its particular province. Currently, the federal government provides about
58% of all funds for basic research compared to 36% of funds for all R&D in the
United States. The federal government funds basic research to produce new
knowledge both for the general benefit of the nation, and to help solve specific
problems central to the missions of the various federal agencies. These relatively
clear objectives have helped keep federal basic research funding policy fairly stable
over the last 50 years.
This report presents a short discussion of the history of federal support of R&D
funding. The first section gives a general overview of the course of federal R&D
funding since the early days of the nation in terms of the factors that motivated this
funding. The next section looks specifically at basic research funding since the end
of World War II. Finally, an overview of the current status of, and outlook for, R&D
funding is given including a discussion of current policy issues.
Federal R&D - Historical Overview
Prior to World War II
The federal government has sponsored research and development almost from
its beginning.1 Prior to World War II, however, that effort was generally quite small
and usually confined to federal facilities and federal lands. Perhaps the most famous
R&D project of the early years of the country was the Lewis and Clark expedition,
which explored the new territories added to the country through the Louisiana
This discussion of the history of federal R&D up to World War II is based on material by
Hunter A. Dupree, Science in the Federal Government; A History of Policies and Activities
to 1940, (Boston, MA: Harvard University Press, 1957).
Purchase.2 As other lands were acquired by the United States, additional surveys
were funded by the federal government. During the years following the Civil War,
the role of scientific research expanded as the government took on new
responsibilities. Among these were agriculture research with the formation of the
Department of Agriculture, a continuation of land surveys through the establishment
of the Geological Survey, and the attempts to set up a weather bureau to pursue the
science of meteorology. One notable example of how federal policy interacted with
R&D was the passage of the Pure Food and Drug Act in 1906 which stimulated
research into food safety and preservation at the Department of Agriculture. This
was perhaps the first example of the linkage between public health and research
policy. The Public Health Service, established in 1901, included among its
responsibilities the Hygienic Laboratory, which became the National Institutes of
At the beginning of the 20th Century, other R&D activities were started to
address specific national needs through technical solutions. The National Bureau of
Standards (NBS, now the National Institute of Standards and Technology) was
established in 1901 to provide the government with the expertise it needed to
maintain standards of weights and measures in the face of rapid technological
expansion. The invention of the airplane and its potential importance stimulated the
Congress to establish the National Advisory Committee on Aeronautics (NACA) in
1915. The role of NACA was to direct the federal aeronautics research effort.
NACA did so for the next 43 years (in 1958, NACA was absorbed by the National
Aeronautics and Space Administration), contributing several significant advances to
the early development of aeronautics. Both the NBS and NACA, as well as the
Bureau of Mines, were a result of the government’s desire to help U.S. industry. As
such, they were the first attempts of federal R&D policy to assist economic
development by performing research on technical problems that the affected
industries either were unable or unwilling to do by themselves.
The advent of World War I spawned new research efforts although no new
major federal R&D establishments. Much of the research done in support of the war
effort was coordinated by the National Research Council, which was established by
the National Academy of Sciences as its research operating arm.3 The NRC is not
a government agency, but it was given wide latitude in advising and coordinating
federal research efforts. This arrangement stayed in place during the 1920s, as
federal research continued to support industrial development, agriculture
development, resource conservation, and public health. The rapid growth of
industrial R&D during this decade created new opportunities for cooperation between
the government and private industry, much of which was centered in the Department
The next major stimuli to federal R&D were the programs of the second “New
Deal” beginning in 1935. Attempts to solve major social and economic problems of
The Lewis and Clark expedition is considered research since one of its primary mission
was to gather and record data on the natural history, geography and inhabitants of the region,
and to report back to the President and the Congress. op. cit., Dupree, p. 27.
The National Academy of Sciences was chartered by Congress in 1863 to advise the
Congress and the Administration on scientific matters.
the period created many new research opportunities and sources of support. In
particular, research in health expanded as federal funding to the Public Health
Service increased as part of the Social Security Act. One result was the growth of the
National Institutes of Health (NIH) established in 1931. In 1937, the Congress
authorized the National Cancer Institute which resulted in further expansion of the
Post-World War II
The history of federal R&D policy prior to World War II demonstrated a
growing belief by many decisionmakers that R&D could be an important element of
public policy to improve the nation’s standard of living and promote national
security. The war itself, however, greatly enhanced this belief. During the early
years of the war, just prior to the entrance of the United States, President Roosevelt
set up a research establishment, the Office of Scientific Research and Development
(OSRD), to coordinate R&D efforts in support of the war. The culmination of this
activity was the Manhattan District, which developed the first nuclear weapons.
Yet, even before the successful completion of the atomic bomb, the nation set
itself on a path to develop an expanded R&D structure after the war. On November
17, 1944, President Roosevelt asked Vannevar Bush, then director of OSRD, to
advise him on how the wartime experience with R&D could be applied in peacetime.
The report was delivered to President Truman in July, 1945.4 The findings of the
report argued that new knowledge developed by scientific research was essential for
improving many aspects of the nation’s well being, primarily health, economic
growth, and national security. Further, the report stated that the government had an
important responsibility to support both scientific research and the training of new
scientific talent. The principal recommendation of the report was the establishment
of a central research funding agency, the National Research Foundation, to
implement those responsibilities.
After considerable debate about the administrative arrangement of the new
agency, the National Science Foundation (NSF) was established in 1950. The NSF
did not have the broad research mandate envisioned in the Bush report, but it did
have a charter for funding basic research, primarily at the nation’s universities, in a
number of fields. In addition, other federal agencies that had been funding R&D
begin a period of rapid expansion. In the early 1950s, the largest of these were the
Department of Defense, created in 1949, and the Atomic Energy Commission,
created in 1948.
Figures 1 and 2 show the history of federal R&D funding since 1950 in constant,
1998 dollars. The first figure shows the breakdown by defense R&D and total
civilian R&D while the second figure shows the distribution of civilian R&D by
major function. Tables giving funding data are in the appendix.
Vannevar Bush, Science: The Endless Frontier; A Report to the President on a Program
for Postwar Scientific Research, (Washington, D.C.: Reprinted by National Science
Foundation, 1960),3. Originally published November 1944.
Figure 1. Civilian and Defense R&D Outlays: 1954-1998
Source: Office of Managment and Budget
Figure 2. Civilian R&D Outlays by Function: 1954-1998
Source: Office of Management and Budget
Both the Department of Defense and the AEC saw substantial budget growth
during the late 1950s in response to the Cold War. The AEC was given
responsibility for developing and maintaining the nation’s nuclear weapons stockpile.
In addition to weapons research, the Commission also assumed primary support of
nuclear and high energy physics, along with a variety of other civilian research areas
connected with nuclear energy and radiation. Health research also grew as the Nation
became committed to a strong research component to support both public and private
health care goals. Nearly all of that research was funded by the National Institutes
of Health, although both the AEC and the NSF supported basic research in the
In the 1960s, research priorities shifted somewhat with the start of the space
program driven largely as a response to the launch of Sputnik in 1957. Foremost
were the establishment of the National Aeronautics and Space Administration
(NASA) and the decision to put a man on the moon by the end of the 1960s, the
Apollo project. By the end of the decade, NASA had become the second largest R&D
funding agency after DOD. Total R&D funding peaked in 1964. In constant dollar
terms, it reached a level not exceeded until the 1990s. Total R&D funding was 35%
of the discretionary portion of the federal budget, a level that has not been
approached since. After that peak, funding begin to fall off. A major reason was
that the Apollo project funding began to decline sharply after reaching its peak in
1966. Budget pressures created by the buildup of the war in Vietnam and the
beginning of several large entitlement programs, particularly Medicare and Medicaid,
also contributed to this flattening.
In the 1970s, however, R&D funding once again started to grow as a result of
federal policy actions in three areas. First, the oil embargoes of 1973 and 1979
stimulated a large increase in energy R&D. After the first embargo, energy research
was concentrated in a new agency, the Energy Research and Development
Administration (ERDA). That agency also assumed all the R&D functions of the
AEC. In 1978, ERDA was replaced by the newly formed Department of Energy,
placing its R&D responsibilities at the cabinet level. The second policy action was
the launching of the war on cancer in 1971. That step resulted in a major buildup on
R&D at the NIH for the first half of the decade. Finally, at the end of the decade the
Carter Administration begin a major buildup in the Nation’s defense capabilities
because of increased concerns about the Soviet Union. As a consequence, R&D
spending by the Department of Defense began to grow rapidly. At the same time,
however, civilian R&D begin to decline in constant dollar terms as the buildup in
energy R&D came to an end and NASA funding begin to fall sharply. Whereas
federal civilian and defense R&D funding had been about the same since 1966, in
1978 they begin to diverge.
This divergence, which grew rapidly in the 1980s, was pushed along by another
shift in R&D policy, again reflecting changes in broader policy objectives. The
military buildup continued with an even greater emphasis on technological
superiority. This result is reflected by a very rapid increase of DOD R&D. Another
objective was the Reagan Administration’s desire to reduce federal involvement in
the nation’s economy. A consequence of this was a significant reduction in support
of civilian R&D that appeared to be aimed at developing products or processes that
were deemed to have commercial potential.
According to the Reagan
Administration, such research was best left to the private sector. The major effect of
these actions was a substantial reduction in energy-related research at the Department
of Energy. As a result of these two policy actions, funding for defense R&D
constituted 61% of all federal R&D by 1988 compared to 45% in 1980.
In the mid-1980s, the appearance of AIDS also resulted in a rapid increase in
health R&D. Nearly all of this work was supported by NIH as federal public health
policy assigned a major role to research as part of its response to the disease.
In the late part of the 1980s through the start of the Clinton Administration, the
federal government shifted policy on funding R&D that directly supported
development of new or improved technologies and processes with potential
commercial applications. Support for this policy shift originated in the Congress.
A significant expansion of funding took place of joint government-private sector
projects, such as the Advanced Technology Program in the National Institute of
Standards and Technology (NIST). The principal agencies involved in these efforts
were NIST, the Department of Energy and the Department of Defense. Within DOE,
programs in applied energy technology development began to receive more money,
and greater emphasis was placed on technology transfer activities, particularly at the
National laboratories. A principal tool of the latter was the Cooperative Research
and Development Agreement (CRADA), which allowed the private sector and
federal government researchers to join together on a project of potential benefit for
the private partner(s). Most CRADAs supported by DOE involved researchers and
facilities at the DOE National laboratories. In DOD, dual-use technology
development — technologies with both civilian and defense applications — was
emphasized, both to expand the commercial manufacturing base for producing
military products and to help exploit military technology for civilian purposes. While
the dollar amounts of all of these programs were small compared to total federal
R&D funds, they signified a definite shift in the willingness of the federal
government to support of technology development with commercial applications.
Basic Research Since World War II
Support for basic research was one of the principal goals of expanded federal
support of R&D that began at the end of World War II. Indeed, as described above,
just such support was one the principal recommendations of the Bush report. As a
consequence, acceptance of the federal government’s role as the principal supporter
of basic research has been one of the few constants in federal R&D policy over the
last 50 years. That research policy also emphasized that federally funded basic
research should be conducted primarily in the Nation’s research universities. The
National Science Foundation, which emerged from those policy decisions, directed
its funding primarily at those universities.
Federal support of basic research, however, did not begin with the establishment
of NSF. Immediately after the war the military services, the Atomic Energy
Commission, the Public Health Service (through the National Institutes of Health),
and National Advisory Committee for Aeronautics (the predecessor agency to
NASA) provided most of the basic research funds from the federal government.
These agencies (including the Department of Defense after 1948 and NASA after
1958) remained the principal federal supporters of basic research through much of
the 1950s. The NSF did not become an important player until about 1957.
While DOD and AEC basic research was carried out primarily at agency funded
laboratories, the majority of that supported by NIH and NSF was performed by the
Nation’s research universities. By the end of the 1950s, universities had become the
largest single performer of federally funded basic research.
These five agencies — DOD, AEC(now DOE), NSF, NASA, and NIH — have
remained the major supporters of basic research to this day. Funding from the AEC
was taken over by the Energy Research and Development Administration and finally
the Department of Energy (DOE) during the 1970s. Figure 3 shows the funding
history of these agencies over the period 1952 to 1994 in current dollars. The two
agencies with the highest growth rate over this period, NIH and NSF, now rank first
and second in federal support of basic research. Actual funding data appear in the
The dominance of the nation’s universities among all performers of basic
research also has grown since the end of the 1950s primarily due to the high
percentage of support flowing to universities from NIH and NSF. Since much of the
Figure 3. Basic Research Obligations by Agency: 1954-1998
Source: National Science Foundation
basic research funded by DOD, DOE, and NASA went to their respective laboratory
systems, federal labs — both those directly administered by the agencies and those
classified as Federally Funded Research and Development Centers5 — also captured
a growing fraction of the nation’s basic research enterprise.
The trends in basic research support since the early 1950s reflect both the
original policy statements set forth after World War II, and the recognition of the
importance of basic research to the missions of science and technology agencies.
Only NSF has funded basic research primarily for the sake of creating new
knowledge in general. In addition, a principal function of NSF research support has
been for training scientists and engineers. The scientific research funded by the other
Federally Funded Research and Development Centers (FFRDCs) are organizations that
perform R&D and that receive most or all of their funds from the federal government. The
centers are administered by a private firm, university, or nonprofit institution under contract
with the agency.
agencies has been primarily directed at creating new knowledge in specific areas vital
to the mission of the agency. In some cases, expansion of scientific knowledge has
been sought as part of the process leading to attainment of the agencies’ goals. For
example, in NIH, research in biological science is carried on in order to help develop
treatments for and prevention of various diseases. In other cases, the output of the
basic research is an end itself. At NASA, space science research is carried out to
enhance our understanding of the regions beyond the Earth’s atmosphere, and
notnecessarily to support space exploration or development. In the case of DOE, the
function of basic research it supports has been a combination of the two.6
Federal R&D - Current Status7
Over the past few years, federal R&D policy has entered a period of intense
scrutiny by policy makers in the Administration and Congress. The primary reason
has been the efforts to balance the budget. The budget resolutions adopted by
Congress for FY1996, FY1997, FY1998, and by the House and Senate for FY1999,
and the President’s budget requests starting in 1996 have projected declining outyear
discretionary spending in constant dollar terms. Also, the balanced budget agreement
reached between Congress and the President in 1997 calls for declining federal
discretionary spending in constant dollar terms through 2002. If the portion of such
spending going to R&D remains fixed over that period, all of these actions project
substantial decline in federal R&D funding in constant dollar terms.
Those forecasts have caused great concern among the nation’s research
community. Thus far, however, those concerns appear to be somewhat unjustified.
As seen in Figure 4 (next page), which compares the actual appropriations with the
those forecast by the congressional budget resolutions, when the fiscal year actually
arrived, Congress thus far has consistently appropriated more funds for R&D than
was projected in the years prior to the fiscal year in question.8 The increases for
FY1996 and FY1997 were a result of Congress appropriating more money for
domestic discretionary spending — even when adjusted for inflation — than had
been projected. For FY1998, Congress also increased the portion of such funds
going to R&D. The percentage of domestic discretionary funds going to R&D
jumped from 12.7% in FY1997 to 14.4% in FY1998. For FY1998, federal funds for
Since this report was first issued in 1995, the concept that basic research can have different
objectives has been generalized. Most notably, Donald Stokes proposed that basic research
can be classified as curiosity-driven or use-driven. The former is pure research for the
creation of new knowledge for its own sake. The latter is research driven by a desire to
solve a practical problem. See, Donald Stokes, Pasteur’s Quadrant: Basic Science and
Technological Innovation (Washington, DC: Brookings Institution Press, 1997).
For a more detailed discussion of the current status of federal R&D funding see;
Congressional Research Service, Research and Development Funding: Fiscal Year 1999,
by Michael Davey, CRS Issue Brief 98011, regularly updated.
A similar analysis has been carried out by the American Association for the Advancement
of Science. Kei Koizumi, “R&D Trends and Special Analysis”, in AAAS Report XXIII:
Research and Development. FY1999, Intersociety Working Group (Washington,
DC:American Association for the Advancement of Science, 1998), 35-36.
civilian R&D increased in constant dollar terms, which continued a trend going back
The Congress now appears to consider the funding of civilian R&D an
Figure 4. Civilian R&D - Projections and Appropriations Comparison
important budget priority. Another sign of that support has been the introduction of
legislation calling for continued increases in civilian R&D. The most recent is S.
2217, the Federal Research and Development Act, which calls for a doubling of
federal support for civilian R&D over the next 12 years. That bill was recently
passed by the Senate Commerce Committee.
Another factor driving the current R&D policy debate has been a shift by
Congress since the Republicans assumed control in 1995 in what it considers
acceptable R&D for federal support. Since that time, Congress has approved funding
for technology development programs, such as the Advanced Technology Program
and DOE applied energy R&D programs, significantly below the Administration’s
request. The congressional majority has argued that such programs are the
responsibility of the private sector and federal funding of such research constitutes
unwarranted interference in the market place.
This shift appears to be a component of a larger issue as to just what is the
proper role for the federal government in the support of research and development.
Along with the prospects of substantially lower resources for R&D, the emergence
of that issue energized many in the scientific community and spawned a number of
studies about the future of federally funded R&D and U.S. science policy.9
Currently, a major effort to develop a new science policy is underway in the House
Science Committee led by Representative Ehlers. The goal is to provide a vision for
science policy that will guide the nation for the next several decades much as the
Bush report provided the framework for U.S. science policy since World War II. It
is the intent of the committee to have the final statement adopted as a congressional
Total federal R&D funding has grown dramatically since the end of World War
II, although, with the exception of basic research, the growth has been anything but
smooth. Furthermore, there have been notable shifts in emphasis within the R&D
portfolio. These shifts have been the result of major additions to that portfolio and
changes in the proportion of funds going to defense and civilian R&D. In addition
to the growth in total funding, there has been growth in the number of federal
agencies funding R&D. Currently, 33 federal agencies support R&D at some level
compared to about 17 in 1952.
Despite the recent upturn in federal R&D funding and the apparent high level
of support it enjoys with the Congress and Administration, the future is still
problematical. Even though the federal government is enjoying a large budget
surplus that is likely to grow substantially in coming years, there remain tight
constraints on spending. The Budget Enforcement Act signed into law last year puts
caps on discretionary spending that will not allow any significant growth until at least
2003. The effect of this Act is shown clearly in Figure 4. The budget resolutions
approved by the House and Senate each project R&D funding, in constant dollar
terms, to decline through 2003 at least, and to fall below those based on the
congressional budget resolution for FY1998 approved in 1997. The caps have
resulted in a reversal of the trend from 1995 that saw each succeeding budget
resolution approve a higher level of domestic discretionary funds.
Further, the House and Senate FY1999 projections are well below those based
on the Administration’s FY1999 budget request. While both the Administration and
Congress are operating under the same budget capes, the Administration included
funds from the proposed tobacco settlement, which allowed a significant increase in
proposed discretionary budget authority for 1999 to 2002 above the caps, nearly all
of which went to domestic discretionary spending. The Senate’s version of the
FY1999 budget resolution adhered to the caps, and the difference between its outyear
projections in Figure 4 and the Administration’s represents the added tobacco money.
The failure of that settlement to date means that those funds are not available. In
addition, even if a settlement is approved by Congress, there is no guarantee that any
funds will go for domestic discretionary spending. The House’s version went below
the caps resulting in even greater gap between it and the Administration.
For a review of several of those studies, see, Congressional Research Service, Analysis of
Ten Selected Science and Technology Policy Studies, coordinated by William C. Boesman,
CRS Report 97-836, 24 October 1997.
Therefore, increases in civilian R&D funding will likely have to come from
reductions in other domestic accounts. Appropriations action thus far suggests that
Congress is willing to do this to some extent.10 In addition, the Senate adopted a
resolution during debate on its version of the FY1999 budget resolution that states
that adoption of the budget resolution will not prevent attaining the goals laid out in
S. 2217. Nevertheless, as long as Congress and the Administration adhere to the
budget caps, the pressures are likely to mount and continued increases for civilian
R&D funding will be more and more difficult to achieve.
In addition to the budget pressures, the debate over what is appropriate R&D for
the federal government will likely continue, affecting priorities for R&D funding.
The least controversial aspect of federal science policy is federal support of basic
research. As a result, it appears that basic research will become a greater fraction of
total federal civilian R&D funding. Among the various functions, health research is
likely to continue to take a larger share of the federal R&D dollar, while the energy
and space research share will probably decline. Finally, there likely will be closer
scrutiny of the actual research being funded and its relationship to the missions of the
agencies doing the funding.
In the FY1999 Labor and HHS Appropriations bill, the House Appropriations Committee
recommended elimination of the Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program and using
the $1.1 billion savings for, among other things, health research.
Appendix - R&D Funding Data
This appendix presents the detailed data from the graphs appearing in the text.
All dollar amounts are in current dollars.
Table A-1. Total Federal R&D Outlays - 1950-1998
(billions of dollars)
Source: Historical Tables: Budget of the United States Government, FY1999
Table A-2. Federal Civilian R&D Outlays by Function
(millions of dollars)
Notes: Health R&D funding is primarily within the National Institute of Health. Science R&D funding
includes NSF and the general science program of DOE. Space R&D funding is primarily within
NASA. Natural Resources (Nat Res) includes funding from the Department of Interior, DOE, and the
Department of Commerce. Energy R&D funding is all within DOE. The major components of the
other category are Agriculture (Department of Agriculture), Environment (DOE and the
Environmental Protection Agency), and Transportation (Department of Transportation and NASA).
Source: National Science Foundation.
Table A-3. Federal Civilian R&D Outlays by Function
(millions of 1998 dollars)
Notes: See Table A-2.
Source: National Science Foundation.
Table A-4. Basic Research Obligations - 1954-1998
(millions of dollars)
Source: National Science Foundation.
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