DARPA is ~0.5% of the Department of Defense Budget and ~12% of that is basic research. Similarly, other storied research organizations tend to be attached to large ‘money factories’ and represent a small fraction of their budget - at its height, Bell Labs’ budget was 5% of AT&T’s budget. By contrast, my sense is that even well-capitalized independent research-focused organizations feel constant pressure that can impede long-term research efforts. Now, plenty of corporate labs produce nothing of note, so being attached to a larger money-making organization is certainly not sufficient for producing long term results but it’s important to understand whether it is necessary.
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