The NSF tally, which ranked 226 U.S. nonprofit research institutes according to degree of federal R&D funding, tabulated financial support supplied by 15 agencies, including NSF, the Environmental Protection Agency, and the Departments of Defense, Energy, Agriculture, and Health and Human Services. The figures in the accompanying chart are for fiscal 1986, the latest period for which NSF has comprehensive data.

The top five labs on NSF’s list— Draper, Battelle, SRI, IIT and Sloan-Kettering—have led the list for three years running.

DOD dominated federal funding to independent nonprofit labs in 1986, providing 48% of the government’s research support dollars that year. (The funding pattern looked very different for universities, which according to NSF, re ceived only 17% of their federal R&D money from DOD in 1986.)

The second largest source of money for nonprofit labs, providing in the NSF accounting, was the Department of Health and Human Services, including NIH....

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