News: News Archives
Action Boosts Federal Support
of R&D to Record $104 Billion
Fueled by concerns about terrorism, as well as a bipartisan commitment to boost spending for the National Institutes of Health (NIH), Congress has sent the President appropriations bills that will provide record increases in federal funding for R&D. According to a report on the FY 2002 appropriations, released recently by AAAS, the bills that the President is expected to sign by January 10 will increase federal funding for R&D to more than $100 billion for the first time -- the largest dollar amount in history ($103.7 billion) and the largest percentage increase in nearly 20 years (13.5 percent).
Al Teich, director of the AAAS Science and Policy Programs, is encouraged by the increased federal funding for R&D in FY 2002 appropriations.
"This has been a remarkably good year for R&D, especially when you consider the complexities and unpredictable nature of the budget situation," said Al Teich, director of the AAAS Science and Policy Programs. "The kind of increases we've seen suggest a growing appreciation in Congress of the value of investments in R&D. Next year may tell if this is an indication of a continuing trend -- or just a blip on the budgetary radar screen." (See related article on agency funding.)
The summary analysis of the FY 2002 R&D budget is a preview of the AAAS publication "Congressional Action on Research and Development in the FY 2002 Budget," which will be released in mid-January. The report shows that Congress bestowed the largest funding increases on NIH and the Department of Defense (DOD), with NIH receiving $22.8 billion for R&D. The 15.8 percent increase in the NIH appropriation from FY 2001 to FY 2002 reflects new funding to combat terrorism, as well as the continued commitment of Congressional leaders to double the agency's budget by 2003, a 5-year process that began in 1998. DOD's R&D budget in FY 2002 was boosted 17.3 percent to $50.1 billion, thanks to dramatic increases in missile defense development and other programs to address the nation's military needs.
"The US military is getting a lot of attention as a result of the war in Afghanistan, which is also making missile defense a more important priority for the Bush Administration," said Kei Koizumi, director of the AAAS R&D Budget and Policy Program. "We had been expecting a pretty tough year, given the cuts that had been proposed by the Bush Administration in April, but in the aftermath of the September 11 terrorist attacks, it's turning out to be a record year for R&D funding."
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.
-- Coimbra Sirica