A Federally Funded Research and Development Center (FFRDC) is a not-for-profit organization funded by the U.S. Government to meet long-term research and development needs that cannot be met as effectively by existing in-house or contractor resources.
FFRDCs assist their sponsoring organizations with engineering and integration, research and development, and study and analysis. They provide objective guidance that is free of conflicts of interest. In addition, they transfer the practical results of their work to the public through such methods as cooperative research and development, technology licensing, open source participation, and contributions to industry standards.
The Carnegie Mellon University Software Engineering Institute (SEI) is an FFRDC sponsored by the U.S. Department of Defense. Established in 1984, the CMU SEI has engaged successfully with the software and cyber communities important to Defense and the nation's security, providing leadership that has brought about the development and broad adoption of dramatic improvements in practice. By providing leadership to foster collaboration, the SEI gains from greater and broader experience with software and cyber issues, and the DoD benefits from not only the SEI expertise but also the contributions of a broad spectrum of experts who would otherwise not contribute.
For an overview of the SEI's accomplishments, see SEI Statistics and History.