Source: Reuters | March 27, 2016
#8 U.S. Department of Energy, USA
Budget: US $29.9 billion
The Department of Energy (DOE) is a cabinet-level department of the U.S. federal government assigned to the mission of ‘ensuring America’s security and prosperity by addressing its energy, environmental and nuclear challenges through transformative science and technology.’ The DOE also sponsors significant research in the sciences and operates a system of 20 national laboratories that includes Fermilab, Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory, and Brookhaven National Laboratory. (Patents filed by these institutions list the name of their parent agency, so for the purposes of this list, Thomson Reuters ranked DOE instead of its subsidiaries. Click here for the methodology.)
Though established as a cabinet-level department in 1977, the DOE can trace its roots back to the Manhattan Project, which developed the atomic bomb during World War II. In the 1980s, the DOE led research in genetics that became the Human Genome Project, and along with the National Institutes of Health, provided the majority of funding for that program. More recent projects include the 570-megapixel Dark Energy Survey Camera, which is able to measure the expansion of the universe; scientists at the Joint BioEnergy Institute are using fir trees to create biodiesel fuel. The DOE currently operates three of the five most powerful supercomputers in the world (at Oak Ridge, Lawrence Livermore and Argonne National Laboratory).
The department also works closely with industry to bring new discoveries to market, including battery technology that helps power Chevy Volt hybrid electric cars.
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