The National Research Council is a private, nonprofit institution that provides science, technology and health policy advice under a congressional charter. It is a part of the National Academies, a group of similar organizations that includes the National Academy of Sciences, National Academy of Engineering and Institute of Medicine. The National Research Council was established in 1916 and is the principal operating agency of the National Academy of Sciences and the National Academy of Engineering. As such, it provides services to the government, public and scientific and engineering communities. Its past projects have included reports on air quality management systems, genetic modification of food, the government s patent system and ways to improve the United States census count. The National Research Council is located in Washington, D.C.