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Frequently Asked Questions

  • What makes Riverside Research a not-for-profit?

    We have a strong heritage in academic research. The organization was formed from the Electronics Research Laboratories of Columbia University in 1967 as an independent, not-for-profit research and engineering center. We have remained an independent, not-for-profit since then by providing unbiased and trusted technical and scientific expertise. Officially, Riverside Research is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization; a classification that encompasses religious, educational, charitable, scientific, and literary organizations; as well as organizations focused on testing for public safety, fostering national or international amateur sports competition, and preventing cruelty to children or animals. The scientific nature of Riverside Research qualifies us as a 501(c)(3).

  • What is the benefit of being a not-for-profit?

    Our tradition as a non-profit organization means that we can focus on investing in independent research, strengthen the expertise we apply on behalf of our customers, and assure our clients that the profit motive has no bearing on our work or results. Additionally, the Federal Acquisition Regulation (FAR) allows the government to award sole-source contracts to not-for-profit companies for their specialized expertise – a rarely used but occasionally beneficial regulation.

  • How does a not-for-profit work?

    Our focus is on providing unbiased value to our customers, not on making profits. Without shareholders or a private owner, our non-profit status allows us to provide premium benefits to our employees.

  • What is the difference between non-profit and not-for-profit?

    There is essentially no legal difference between non-profit and not-for-profit organizations; the terms are generally used interchangeably. According to the IRS, business types are segmented into two categories: for-profit and non-profit. For-profit companies exist to make money for their owners or shareholders. We are classified by the IRS as a non-profit 501(c)(3) organization. Our mission is focused on scientific and technical advancements, not on paying dividends to our shareholders. Without the distractions of profit-making, we can provide premium, trusted, unbiased solutions to our customers.

  • What is the difference between a non-profit and an FFRDC?

    Federally Funded Research and Development Centers (FFRDCs) are non-profit entities that operate as long-term strategic partners to sponsoring government agencies free of outside competition for the duration of a particular program. Independent non-profit organizations have to compete for work just like any other contractor. Riverside Research is an independent not-for-profit, which means we are not tied to any specific program "for life." We believe that this makes us a better technical advisor to our clients, capable of more creativity and flexibility.

  • Is Riverside Research a small business?

    Essentially, there are two forms of business: for-profit and non-profit. Small business is a type of for-profit business, which is structured totally different than a non-profit. Riverside Research is a non-profit organization. Regardless of size (both in terms of revenue and number of employees), a non-profit organization will never be classified as a small business. The two are inherently different. In fact, the FAR classifies anything other than small business as "large business." Riverside Research and all other non-profit organizations fall into the "large business" classification as defined by the FAR.

  • How big are you?

    We are currently a 500-person company spread across the U.S., with some presence overseas. Our main offices are in New York, NY; Dayton, OH; Washington, DC; and Boston, MA. We additionally have a presence at client facilities in 16 States.

  • How is Riverside Research different than other companies?

    Riverside Research leverages its non-profit status to provide independent, unbiased advice to our sponsors. Riverside Research actively seeks out and hires individuals who are mission-oriented and not afraid to provide clear answers in a professional manner; this attribute is greatly appreciated by our government customers. Finally, our team is comprised of individuals who provide exceptional scientific expertise and trusted solutions, by advancing science and innovation, and by consistently delivering value.

  • What makes Riverside Research different from the rest of the A&AS companies?

    In addition to providing top-notch personnel, our company offers a vast technical "reach-back" pool of engineers, scientists, and other experts. Additionally, Riverside Research is unique in having established a series of interconnected and collectively managed labs where we conduct independent classified and unclassified research to develop high value solutions. Available on demand, these resources are accessible for rapid resolution of the most challenging technical issues.

  • We heard that your company changed its name from Riverside Research Institute to Riverside Research. Why is that?

    We changed the way we refer to ourselves to better reflect our emphasis on innovative applied research, technology, and our role as a solutions provider. The organization is still formally an institute in terms of tax status, and Riverside Research remains heavily engaged in scientific and academic research.

  • We understand that Riverside Research has a small group that does biomedical research. How does that group fit in with your more DoD-oriented activities?

    The biomedical engineering group is known as the Frederic L. Lizzi Center for Biomedical Engineering. It evolved from technologies developed for DoD-related projects in the 1960s. For example, its clean-room facilities were used to fabricate high-frequency ultrasound transducers for modulating laser beams in optical processing of radar signals. Since then, the group has been applying advanced ultrasonic and optical techniques to detection, imaging, and treatment of disease – mostly cancer. Today, biomedical research at Riverside Research is funded almost exclusively by National Institutes of Health (NIH) grants with some additional support from subawards on NIH or other grants awarded to collaborating institutions, foundation grants, donations, and royalty income.

  • Why don't you list fill in the blank as a Center of Excellence?

    A "Center of Excellence" is grounded in an area of science, technology or engineering. It is focused on expanding knowledge—either theoretical or applied—to serve a national purpose. A research center is composed of its people, its laboratories, and its intellectual capital; and is defined by its discoveries, insights, and the work it performs. It is structured within Riverside Research as a multi-disciplinary team that leverages academic investigation to advance solutions aligned with the interests of its sponsors. Our six Centers of Excellence: Airborne Reconnaissance, Biomedical Engineering, Cyber, Electromagnetic Sciences, Radar, and Technical Intelligence. This list may evolve over time, depending on marketplace opportunities.

  • What is an IPA?

    It is a lease arrangement involving the government, a Riverside Research employee, and Riverside Research. Personnel assigned under the Intergovernmental Personnel Act (IPA) are essentially made government employees to perform inherently governmental tasks for a finite period of time. It's another example of how we provide unique support to our customers.

© 2014 Riverside Research