Obama Boosts Federal R&D By $2 Billion
Department of Homeland Security, National Institute of Standards and Technology, and Department of Energy are among the agencies that will likely see budget boosts in fiscal 2013.
federal research and development (R&D) for fiscal year 2013, with the a particular boost to research being done at the Department of Homeland Security (DHS), the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST), and the Department of Energy (DOE).
President Obama's proposed R&D budget for 2013, released Monday, also provides $3 billion to science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) education as part of an ongoing effort to prepare a more technology-savvy workforce and help the United States remain competitive overseas.
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In total, the White House has proposed $140.8 billion for R&D, an increase of 1.4% over last year's enacted budget, according to the Office of Science and Technology Policy (OSTP), which partners with the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) to advise the president on R&D priorities.
The proposed federal research portfolio, which encompasses basic and applied research, is $64.0 billion, an increase of $2 billion, or 3.3%, over what was spent last year, and the proposal for non-defense R&D is $64.9 billion, a 5% boost.
[Big data, mobility, cybersecurity, and the cloud are top priorities for NIST going forward. Read more at Federal Standards Body Focuses On Big Data, Cloud.]
The increase has been offset by reductions in Department of Defense (DOD) weapons-system development that is transitioning to production, according to the OSTP. Overall, the DOD took a 2.1% budget cut to $71.2 billion.
The budget proposal includes stipends for research efforts in clean air and energy at the Department of Energy. Specifically, it provides $350 million for transformational energy R&D in the DOE's Advanced Research Projects Agency-Energy, and $2.3 billion for DOE's Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy office to focus on clean-vehicle technologies research.
The proposal also calls for $2.6 billion for the U.S. Global Change Research Program (USGCRP), which aims to understand and prevent global changes resulting from over-dependence on fossil fuels.
Also benefiting from the budget increase are the National Science Foundation (NSF) and the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) laboratories, which--along with the DOE's science office--will get a combined $13.1 billion, an increase of 4.4% over their funding last year.
The DHS and NIST also will get significant bumps for their R&D efforts, with the DHS seeing a 26.3% increase of $729 million; and NIST seeing a proposed labs budget for 2013 of $708 million, an increase of 13.8% over last year's funding, according to the OSTP.
Other agencies and research efforts that have proposed increases for 2013 include:
--NASA ($9.6 billion, up 2.2%)
--The National Nanotechnology Initiative ($1.8 billion, up 4.1%)
--U.S. Geological Survey ($718 million, up 6.4%)
--The Environmental Protection Agency R&D ($580 million, up 2.1%).
Despite the overall increase, it wasn't all good news for agency R&D budgets, as some likely will see their funding fall next year. Those include the U.S. Department of Agriculture, which takes a 1.5% cut to $2.3 billion in the proposal; and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, which takes a 3.8% cut to $552 million.
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