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Health Research, Terrorism Concerns Boost Agencies' Funding
NIH continues as the largest single sponsor of basic and applied research, and will receive 46 percent of federal support for research in 2002. Total federal investment in research will increase 11 percent, or $4.8 billion over FY 2001 -- a total of $48.2 billion.
To counter the threat of terrorism, Congress more than doubled the amount of money for terrorism-related R&D funding from FY 2001 to FY 2002. In 2002, the federal government will spend $1.5 billion on anti-terrorism research, compared to $579 million in FY 2001. Roughly half the FY 2002 monies were from emergency appropriations approved just after the terrorist attacks, and the rest will come from the regular appropriations process. NIH and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) will receive substantial emergency funds for bioterrorism R&D and for improving laboratory facilities.
funds will also boost support for agricultural R&D, which will
receive $1.9 billion -- an increase of 9.4 percent, part of that
to address issues of food safety and to improve security at agriculture
laboratories that handle pathogens. Funding for natural resources
and environment R&D will rise 11.2 percent to $2.5 billion,
in part to protect supplies of drinking water; and R&D for transportation
will climb to $1.8 billion, an increase of 6.7 percent due in part
to an infusion of funds for
the Federal Aviation Administration's security R&D.
For the sixth year in a row, non-defense R&D has increased, reaching an all-time high in FY 2002, with a large part of the increase due to continued increases for NIH. Funding for NIH R&D is now nearly as large as that of all the other non-defense agencies combined. While the funding increases for non-NIH agencies is large, the report notes that the FY 2002 appropriation barely brings these agencies back to the funding levels of the early 1990s.
The final bill also shows that Congress remains committed to funding "R&D earmarks," congressionally-designated R&D projects that are not part of an agency's formal spending plan. In 2002, Congress set aside $1.5 billion for R&D earmarks, with the US Department of Agriculture, the DOD and NASA receiving the greatest share.
AAAS began publishing federal budget numbers for R&D in 1976. Every year, the AAAS R&D Budget and Policy Program publishes three major reports that follow and analyze the budget process. More information on the AAAS R&D Budget and Policy Program is available on the AAAS R&D Web site http://www.aaas.org/spp/R&D/.
-- Coimbra Sirica