- NSF :
The National Science Foundation (NSF) is an independent federal agency created by Congress in 1950 “to promote the progress of science; to advance the national health, prosperity, and welfare; to secure the national defense…” With an annual budget of about $6.9 billion (FY 2010), the NSF is the funding source for approximately 20 percent of all federally supported basic research conducted by America’s colleges and universities. In many fields such as mathematics, computer science and the social sciences, NSF is the major source of federal backing.
The Office of Naval Research (ONR) is an organization within the United States Department of the Navy that coordinates, executes, and promotes the science and technology programs of the U.S. Navy and Marine Corps through schools, universities, government laboratories, nonprofit organizations, and for-profit organizations. ONR executes its mission through science and technology departments, corporate programs, the Naval Research Laboratory (NRL), and the ONR Global office.
The National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) is an independent agency of the executive branch of the United States federal government responsible for the civilian space program as well as aeronautics and aerospace research. President Dwight D. Eisenhower established NASA in 1958 with a distinctly civilian (rather than military) orientation encouraging peaceful applications in space science. The National Aeronautics and Space Act was passed on July 29, 1958, disestablishing NASA’s predecessor, the National Advisory Committee for Aeronautics (NACA). The new agency became operational on October 1, 1958.
As a Combat Support Agency, DTRA (Defense Threat Reduction Agency supports the Combatant Commanders and Services in responding to any WMD (weapons of mass destruction) threat. This requires them to not only address current needs but also to anticipate future threats. In their Defense Agency role, they manage a research and development portfolio to develop tools and capabilities. As a USSTRATCOM Center, they support USSTRATCOM’s synchronization of Department of Defense planning efforts to counter weapons of mass destruction.
For more than fifty years, DARPA (Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency) has held to a singular and enduring mission: to make pivotal investments in breakthrough technologies for national security. The genesis of that mission and of DARPA itself dates to the launch of Sputnik in 1957, and a commitment by the United States that, from that time forward, it would be the initiator and not the victim of strategic technological surprises. Working with innovators inside and outside of government, DARPA has repeatedly delivered on that mission, transforming revolutionary concepts and even seeming impossibilities into practical capabilities.
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