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December 19, 2003
Department of Defense DOD has received a record-breaking $66.3 billion for its R&D programs in FY 2004, a jump of 13.0 percent or $7.6 billion over FY 2003. Funding for missile defense development will jump 19 percent to $8.2 billion in FY 2004, mostly in the Missile Defense Agency; funding for other big development projects will also climb, particularly a $4.3 billion appropriation for the Joint Strike Fighter (up 27 percent). Basic research ("6.1") will decline $13 million (0.9 percent) to $1.4 billion, while applied research ("6.2") will increase 3.6 percent to $4.4 billion, in contrast to requested cuts of 8 percent and 14 percent, respectively. DOD "Science and Technology" (S&T) programs, which include research, medical research, and early technology development, will receive a record $12.6 billion in FY 2004, an increase of 12.0 percent, primarily because of large increases for technology development ("6.3") programs. Congress agreed to DOD's proposal to reorganize its basic research portfolio in FY 2004 by transferring many programs funded by the Office of the Secretary of Defense to the three services.
Department of Homeland Security DHS will be one of the major funding sources of R&D in FY 2004. Its R&D portfolio totals $1.04 billion, up 56 percent from FY 2003 (after adjusting for an across-the-board cut). Congress has decided to fund the non-R&D Project Bioshield to procure biodefense countermeasures. The final DHS budget contains $5.6 billion over 10 years for biodefense countermeasures, of which $890 million will be available in FY 2004, and which should provide incentives for private-sector R&D investments. The new S&T Directorate in the DHS will have $869 million for R&D activities, 67 percent more than the current funding level, including $70 million for university programs and $60 million for R&D on antimissile devices for commercial aircraft.
National Institutes of Health After a five-year doubling campaign including 15 percent increases for each of the past five years, growth in the NIH budget would slow sharply in FY 2004, leaving nearly all the NIH institutes with increases of about 3 percent. Congress would add to the administration's request slightly for a total budget (including non-R&D items and after adjusting for an across-the-board cut) of $28.0 billion, just 3.2 percent above last year. Biodefense research would continue to be a high priority in the FY 2004 omnibus bill, which would provide $4.3 billion for the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, the lead NIH institute for biodefense research, a boost of 16.3 percent over FY 2003. NIH research (basic and applied) would increase 7 percent to $26.9 billion, greater than the increases for the overall NIH budget because Congress would go along with NIH's plan to discontinue most of its FY 2003 facilities funding and shift the money to biodefense research.
National Science Foundation Congress would provide $5.6 billion for NSF in FY 2004, $268 million or 5.0 percent more than FY 2003. NSF's R&D activities would receive $4.1 billion, an increase of 4.7 percent. The research directorates would receive increases of between 3 and 7 percent. The final appropriation falls nearly $1 billion short of the authorized funding level contained in the NSF authorization bill signed into law last December, which envisions doubling NSF's budget between FY 2002 and FY 2007.
Department of Energy DOE has an R&D budget of $8.7 billion in FY 2004, an increase of $506 million or 6.1 percent, although the omnibus bill would apply across-the-board cuts to its already-enacted budget. DOE's Office of Science would receive $3.2 billion for R&D after the cut, a boost of 3.8 percent or $116 million in contrast to a requested cut. Congress added funds for high-performance computing research, domestic fusion research, and for more than 90 congressionally-designated projects. Congress trimmed slightly the request for DOE's defense R&D activities, but still provided a $257 million or 6.7 percent increase for a total of $4.1 billion, including research funds for a new generation of nuclear "bunker buster" weapons. Energy R&D programs would get a larger, 10.4 percent increase for a total of $1.4 billion. The final DOE budget boosts funding for R&D on hydrogen, nuclear energy and coal, but cuts spending on other energy areas. The additions and cuts mirror the priorities outlined in the stalled FY 2004 energy policy bill, which fell just short of final Senate approval in late November. (An analysis of the R&D implications of the energy policy bill is available on the AAAS R&D Web site.)
National Aeronautics and Space Administration NASA will be preoccupied in FY 2004 with getting the Space Shuttle and International Space Station back on track after the Columbia Shuttle disaster. Congress would provide $15.4 billion for the NASA budget in FY 2004, even with FY 2003. NASA's R&D funding would decline 0.4 percent to $11.0 billion, primarily because construction funding for the Space Station would fall 19 percent to $1.5 billion while the project awaits the return to flight of the Shuttle. There would be increased attention to future alternatives to the Shuttle such as the Orbital Space Plane. NASA's non-human space flight R&D programs in Science, Aeronautics and Exploration would receive 5.9 percent more in FY 2004 for a total of $7.9 billion, including a 12 percent boost for Space Science programs to $4.0 billion and a 6 percent boost to Biological and Physical Research to $990 million.
Department of Commerce Commerce avoided steep cuts proposed for its R&D programs. Although the Bush Administration and the House sought to eliminate the Advanced Technology Program at the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST), the FY 2004 omnibus bill sides with the Senate in keeping the program alive at last year's funding level. NIST's intramural R&D programs, however, would decline 5.7 percent to $291 million despite a requested increase. And Congress essentially agreed to the administration's proposal to phase out the federal role in the non-R&D Manufacturing Extension Partnership (MEP), slashing funds by 63 percent down to $39 million. Total NIST R&D would fall 3.9 percent to $506 million. For the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration's (NOAA) R&D programs in ocean research, fisheries research, atmospheric science, and climate change science, Senate proposals for increases prevailed against House and administration proposals for steep cuts. Total NOAA R&D would rise 5.8 percent to $724 million. NOAA's core R&D programs in Oceanic and Atmospheric Research gain 6.1 percent for a total of $361 million.
Department of Agriculture USDA R&D would fall 4.9 percent or $111 million in the FY 2004 omnibus bill to $2.2 billion, primarily because of steep cuts to research facilities funding. The FY 2003 USDA budget included one-time emergency funds for construction and security upgrades related to biodefense concerns at USDA laboratories. Without the facilities funds, USDA R&D would actually increase slightly by 1.8 percent. Although USDA requested $200 million for the National Research Initiative of competitively awarded extramural research grants, Congress would provide only $164 million, $2 million less than FY 2003. Congress would instead provide $111 million for the congressionally earmarked Special Research Grants, as well as $131 million in other earmarks.
Environmental Protection Agency The EPA budget in FY 2004 would rise slightly, as would its R&D funding. The total budget would be $8.4 billion in the omnibus bill, $287 million more (3.5 percent) than FY 2003. EPA's R&D funding would rise 1.6 percent to $634 million, primarily because one-time emergency funding for building decontamination research in FY 2003 would be replaced by $56 million in earmarked R&D projects. Most of EPA's core R&D programs would receive increased funding compared to FY 2003.
Department of the Interior In an already-enacted spending bill, the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS), Interior's lead science agency, received $579 million for its R&D programs, $10 million or 1.7 percent above the FY 2003 funding level (after adjusting for the across-the-board cut). Congress reversed the Bush Administration's proposed cuts to many of USGS' earth science and water resources research programs. Total Interior R&D climbs $49 million (7.9 percent) to $676 million because of a requested boost to the Bureau of Land Management's R&D activities.
Kei Koizumi, Director, AAAS R&D Budget and Policy Program
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Copyright 2003 by the American Association for the Advancement of Science. All rights reserved.