News: News Archives
Record Increase in R&D Funding for Homeland Security
The U.S. House of Representatives approved legislation on 24 June that would make the Department of Homeland Security one of the major funding sources of R&D in FY 2004. The proposed budget of $1.1 billion is an increase of nearly 60 percent over funding for similar programs in FY 2003, and nearly four times the FY 2002 budget, according to a AAAS R&D Funding Update.
"The House appropriations would be well above the President's request of $907 million announced in February," the AAAS report says. "The House would add $51 million to the request for transportation security R&D, and would add $97 million to the request for R&D in the Directorate for Science and Technology.…"
The report notes that nearly all the funding for R&D will target the DHS Directorate for Science and Technology, which would receive $900 million (an increase of 72.8 percent) under the House bill, including a $50 million increase for activities to develop new anti-terrorism technologies, a $25 million boost for university research and fellowship programs, and $60 million in new funds to develop antimissile devices for commercial aircraft.
"One reason for the enormous increase in funding, far larger than 1.9 percent increase for the overall DHS budget, is that unlike the other directorates, S&T will have to build many of its capabilities from scratch," the AAAS report says. "…the Directorate will have to create brand-new R&D capabilities in several areas to address knowledge gaps in homeland security."
The DHS budget illustrates a key difference between the new agency and most other federal agencies that fund R&D. DHS will be responsible not only for research, but for the engineering work and deployment of new technologies, in partnership with staff at state and local security agencies nationwide.
"Thus, (the DHS) R&D portfolio will at least initially be heavily skewed toward development," the AAAS report notes. "In this way, the DHS portfolio will be very similar to DOD's portfolio, which is also heavily oriented toward development...."
The House would also provide $890 million in FY 2004, and a total of $5.6 billion over the next 10 years for the program known as "Project Bioshield," an initiative proposed by President Bush that would encourage "private-sector R&D investments in Biodefense vaccines, therapeutics and other countermeasures by providing a guaranteed government market for future products."
The AAAS R&D Budget and Policy Program sponsors studies and colloquia on funding and policy issues affecting research and development (R&D). The Program aims to provide timely, objective, and accurate information on federal R&D support.
27 June 2003