A Primer: Federally Funded Research and Development Centers in the 21st Century

For nearly 70 years, federally funded research and development centers, or FFRDCs, have been vital to our nation’s growth and security. They have supported the government by developing transformational capabilities in defense, transportation, energy, civil agency administration, homeland security, atmospheric sciences, science policy, and other areas. Yet their existence remains largely unknown to the average person.Even those familiar with FFRDCs may be hard-pressed to explain their history, purpose, and operation.

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