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Big increase would fund manufacturing, cybersecurity, industrial tech and new facilities

By Richard Jones, FYI: The American Institute of Physics Bulletin of Science Policy News (reprinted with permission)

April 22, 2013

The National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) is one of three federal S&T agencies for which the Obama Administration is seeking significant budget increases. As explained in FYI #62, “the Obama Administration proposes to increase total funding for the three ‘key science agencies’ that ‘are critical to preserving America’s place as the world leader in innovation.’  Continuing the drive that first started in 2006 to significantly increase funding for the National Science Foundation, the Department of Energy’s Office of Science, and the laboratories of the National Institute of Standards and Technology, the Administration requested an 8.0% total increase over FY 2012 levels for the three agencies.”

The Administration is seeking $928.3 million for NIST in FY 2014, an increase of $177.5 million or 23.6 percent over FY 2012.

Late enactment of final appropriations legislation for the current fiscal year prevented the Administration from preparing customary current year budget to requested year budget comparisons.  All calculations are based on FY 2012 funding levels which are approximately equal to current funding levels, less approximately 5.0 percent mandated by sequestration.

In describing the budget request, NIST Director Patrick Gallagher explained:

"The FY 2014 budget increases will allow NIST to address high-priority scientific and technical issues that are critical to U.S. economic competitiveness and innovative capacity.  NIST collaborative research in fields like manufacturing, cybersecurity and forensics will spur new technology, standards and product development in the private sector and grow the economy."

There are three major components in NIST’s budget request: Scientific and Technical Research and Services, Industrial Technology Services, and Construction of Research Facilities.  Detailed information about the request can be viewed here and in the Commerce Department’s Budget in Brief.

Scientific and Technical Research and Services:

An increase of $126.8 million or 22.4 percent from the FY 2012 enacted appropriation of $567.0 million to a FY 2014 request of $693.8 million.

Funding for Advanced Manufacturing would increase by $50 million, by $24 million for several cybersecurity programs, and by $20 million for NIST Centers of Excellence. 

Industrial Technology Services:

An increase of $46.1 million or 35.9 percent from the FY 2012 enacted appropriation of $128.4 million to a FY 2014 request of $174.5 million.

Construction of Research Facilities:

An increase of $4.6 million or 8.3 percent from the FY 2012 enacted appropriation of $55.4 million to a FY 2014 request of $60.0 million.

In addition, in the Commerce Department’s “Budget in Brief” under the heading “National Network for Manufacturing Innovation”:

“As part of the Administration’s efforts to revitalize U.S. manufacturing, the Budget proposes a one-time $1 billion investment to launch a network of up to 15 manufacturing innovation institutes across the country. Each institute would bring together companies, university and community colleges, and government to co-invest in the development of cutting-edge manufacturing technologies and capabilities that U.S. manufacturers can apply in production. The NNMI will fill a gap in the innovation infrastructure, allowing new manufacturing processes and technologies to progress more smoothly from basic research to implementation in manufacturing. A network leadership council will disseminate best practices and facilitate collaboration among the institutes. Program coordination will be led by the NIST-hosted, inter-agency Advanced Manufacturing National Program Office.”

Related Articles:
FY 2014 DOE Office of Science Budget Request

April 22, 2013

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