The Earth Research Department is the main organization for research and space exploration of the earth. The organization gets the highest budget (18 %, ca. 23 trillion credits) from the Council of Earth.
After the Great Earth War the United States of Earth did everything they can to save the planet and mankind. So they founded the research lab 4 months after the end of war to solve the problems and later to explore the space. Since 2072 the lab is responsible for the Project Eden.