Obama Budget Boosts Science, Innovation - InformationWeek

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Obama Budget Boosts Science, Innovation

Federal funding of K-12 science, technology, engineering and math education would see an almost 40% increase over 2010 funding.

The President's proposed 2011 budget includes significant increases in funding for science and math education and plans to eventually double funding for key science agencies like the National Institute of Standards and Technology.

Under the proposal, federal funding of K-12 science, technology, engineering and math education funding would see an almost 40% increase over 2010 funding to $1 billion across all federal agencies, and a total of $3.7 billion in STEM education funding overall. It would triple the number of NSF Graduate Research Fellowships to 3,000 by 2013.

It would also make $500 million available through the Department of Education's "Investing in Innovation" Fund, which would allow schools to make technology-related investments to "infuse educational technology across a broad range of programs in order to improve teaching and learning."

Several other programs funded under the 2011 budget proposal would also go toward funding education technology and online course development. These funds appear to take the place of the Enhancing Education Through Technology fund, which receives no money in next year's proposed budget.

The National Science Foundation, the Department of Energy's Office of Science, and the National Institute of Standards and Technology laboratories will see increases of $824 million and 6.6% taken together this year, but the administration's plans lay out a path for the doubling of those agencies' budgets within five years.

Overall, the administration proposes $66 billion in non-defense research and development, which would be a record and represents a 5.9% increase over the enacted 2010 funding level. The Obama plan would also make the federal research and experimentation tax credit permanent and give about $12 million to a new program to help commercialize innovations made possible through government R&D.

The federal government also plans to launch a research and development dashboard that would allow citizens to track federal R&D spending online.

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