The President's budget request includes a healthy 7.6 percent
increase in RDT&E for the Department of Defense (DOD). However,
all of the increases are in the later stages of the R&D process,
"6.4" through "6.7". Basic and applied research
("6.1" and "6.2") are slated for significant declines
(see Table II-2).
DOD's Science and Technology (S&T) budget ("6.1"
through "6.3") would decrease by 5 percent (see Table
The National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) will
restructure its budget again and revise its priorities in an essentially
flat budget line (see Table II-12).
The President has proposed a 2.4 percent decrease in the Electrical
and Communications Systems Subactivity in the Engineering Directorate
of the National Science Foundation (NSF), compared to a 2.8 percent
increase for all NSF R&D (see Table II-7).
FreedomCAR and Freedom Fuel programs in the Department of Energy
(DOE) budget would receive a combined $272 million in funding in FY
2004 (see Table II-11).
The United States' participation in the International Thermonuclear
Experimental Reactor (ITER) program would be revitalized with a $12
million budget for FY 2004.
DOE is planning to build four new Nanoscale Science Research
Centers at a cost of $87 million.
The National Nanotechnology Initiative (NNI) would increase
substantially for the second year in a row (9.7 percent, $75 million)
to a level of $849 million (see Table I-10).
The newly created Department of Homeland Security would have
a R&D budget of $1 billion, much of which would be conducted by
the Homeland Security Advanced Research Projects Agency (HSARPA; see
Electrotechnologies are ubiquitous in nearly every aspect of modern life,
from the light bulb to the computer to emerging medical devices such as
the M2A disposable diagnostic capsule used to non-invasively examine the
small intestine. Economists attribute a substantial portion of recent
national productivity gains to the impact of key electrotechnologies such
as semiconductors and the Internet. Electrotechnologies are also critical
for ensuring the nation's homeland and overseas security.
The federal government supports a substantial amount of research and development
of electrical, electronics and computing technologies spanning a range
of fields including electrical generation and energy efficiency, communication
and information technologies, aerospace and satellites, intelligent highway
systems, electronic warfare, telemedicine and medical devices. It is very
difficult, if not impossible, to accurately identify the amount of federal
support in electrotechnology research because federal agency investments
are generally not identified by discipline. Nonetheless, one can identify
longitudinal trends in electrotechnology research by examining budget
trends of agencies that provide the bulk of electrotechnology related
The federal investment in electrotechnology research in FY 2004 should
be viewed in the larger context of the country's overall investment in
electrotechnology research. The significant slowdown in technology and
capital spending by businesses has led to a drawback in electrotechnology
research spending by industry. Electrotechnology industries have been
disproportionately hit by the slump; e.g., telecommunications, computer
networking, semiconductors, computers, software, electric utilities, etc.
Companies are moving to cut costs in response to reduced revenues, and
research spending will not be spared. Private equity investment, including
venture capital, has plummeted in the past two years and the bulk of the
remaining investment has moved away from more speculative early-stage
high-risk research and development to products that are close to commercial
launch. In light of the malaise in private sector investments in electrotechnology
research, the federal role becomes even more critical in 2004. The agency
budgets proposed by the President do not fill the gaps left by industrial
NATIONAL NANOTECHNOLOGY INITIATIVE (NNI)
The National Nanotechnology Initiative (NNI) is a multi-agency nanotechnology
research initiative conducted at a total of ten federal agencies. The
National Science Foundation (NSF), the Department of Defense (DOD), the
Department of Energy (DOE), the National Institutes of Health (NIH), and
NASA are the agencies with the most significant investments in nanotechnology
research. The FY 2004 budget request would increase funding for NNI by
9.7 percent to a level $849 million (see Table
I-10). The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) is attempting to
stake its claim in the nanotechnology arena with a whopping 900 percent
increase in its budget for nanotechnology research (from $1 million to
$10 million). DOE (up 48.1 percent) and NSF (up 12.7 percent) would also
be big gainers in 2004, while DOD (down 8.6 percent) and the Department
of Commerce (down 10.1 percent) would see their nanotechnology budgets
reduced the most. (For full information on NNI, please see Chapter
NETWORKING AND INFORMATION TECHNOLOGY RESEARCH AND DEVELOPMENT PROGRAM
Another multi-agency research program of considerable importance is the
Networking and Information Technology R&D Program (NITRD). This program
has participation from a broad array of government agencies, including
DOD, NSF, DOE, and NASA. The NITRD budget overall would increase by 5.9
percent to $2.2 billion (see Table I-10). The
largest contributor, NSF, would devote $724 million to NITRD, while DOD
($461 million), DOE ($317 million), and the Department of Health and Human
Services (HHS; $441 million) are the other large participants. The High
End Computing (HEC) program, which NITRD has identified as its highest
priority, would receive the most funding at $846.5 million; its second
priority, the Large Scale Networking (LSN), would receive $317 million
in funding. (For full details of NITRD, please see Chapter
DEPARTMENT OF DEFENSE (DOD)
The Department of Defense's Research, Development, Test, and Evaluation
(RDT&E) appropriation provides funding for future military hardware
and software and their underlying technologies, covering the full spectrum
of R&D from the most basic research to advanced full-scale military
systems development. RDT&E collectively consists of seven budget activities:
Basic Research ("6.1"), Applied Research ("6.2"),
Advanced Technology Development ("6.3"), Advanced Component
Development and Prototypes ("6.4"), System Development and Demonstration
("6.5"), Management Support ("6.6"), and Operational
Systems Development ("6.7"). RDT&E is the federal government's
single largest research and development account.
The President's budget request includes a healthy 7.6 percent increase
in RDT&E for the Defense Department (see Table
II-2). However all of the increases are in the later stages of the
R&D process, "6.4" through "6.7". In fact, basic
and applied research ("6.1" and "6.2") are slated
for significant declines. Total RDT&E would increase by $4.3 billion
to a record $61.8 billion.
The increases in RDT&E should be put in perspective. Of the $4.3 billion
increase mentioned, $3.9 billion would go to two budget activities: Advanced
Component Development and Prototypes ("6.4") and System Development
and Demonstration ("6.5"). All other activities would either
decline or remain relatively flat.
Basic Research ("6.1"), Applied Research ("6.2"),
and Advanced Technology Development ("6.3"), known collectively
as Science and Technology (S&T), would decrease by 5.0 percent to
a level of $10.2 billion. This would be tempered by a 3.7 percent increase
in "6.3" funding. Basic and Applied Research would take a 7.7
percent and 14.4 percent cut to $1.3 billion and $3.7 billion, respectively.
Management Support ("6.6") would decline 2.5 percent to a level
of $3.0 billion, while Operational Systems Development ("6.7")
would increase 4.3 percent to $19.5 billion.
Also funded by RDT&E are the two major defense research agencies,
the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) and the Missile
Defense Agency (MDA; see Table II-3).
DARPA, whose mission is to "develop imaginative, innovative and often
high-risk research ideas offering a significant technological impact that
will go beyond the normal evolutionary developmental approaches,"
would receive a 9.8 percent increase to $3.0 billion. After a large increase
in FY 2002 followed by a slight cut in FY 2003, the MDA, formerly known
as the Ballistic Missile Defense Organization (BMDO), would receive a
significant funding increase of 15.7 percent to $7.7 billion. (For more
on DOD, see Chapter 6.)
DEPARTMENT OF HOMELAND SECURITY (DHS)
The new Department of Homeland Security (DHS) integrates such agencies
as the U.S. Coast Guard, U.S. Customs Service, Federal Emergency Management
Agency (FEMA), and the Immigration and Naturalization Service's (INS)
enforcement division, and is expected to have a major impact on federal
R&D. The DHS Science and Technology Directorate is the subject of
an $803 million funding request, with R&D priorities related to information
analysis, border entry/security technologies, and chemical/biological
warfare detection. Of that total, $350 million would be administered through
a new Homeland Security Advanced Research Projects Agency (HSARPA) charged
with R&D, testing and evaluation to speed up deployment of promising
homeland security technologies. Research in DHS' Information Analysis
& Infrastructure Protection Directorate will focus on cyber-security
and protection of critical infrastructures (including the electric grid,
communications networks, the Internet, etc.). (For full information on
DHS R&D, see Chapter 12 and Table
NATIONAL AERONAUTICS AND SPACE ADMINISTRATION (NASA)
The NASA budget contains several important electrotechnology programs.
One major initiative that will have far-reaching consequences is the Optical
Communication program. This program offers potential for many orders of
magnitude improvement in the communication data rate. For example, using
current technology the Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter will take 21 months
to map 20 percent of the Mars surface. Using the proposed optical communications
technology would enable the whole surface of Mars to be mapped in four
months. Other important programs include the James Webb telescope to be
launched in 2010 to build on the Hubble Telescope legacy, the Laser Interferometer
Space Antenna to observe the distortion of space due to gravity waves,
the Climate Change Research Initiative Acceleration, and several programs
to enhance Aviation Security and improve the operation of the National
For the second straight year, NASA's budget overall would see a slight
increase from the previous year (a 0.9 percent increase to $15.5 billion).
The R&D budget would also increase slightly by 0.2 percent to a level
of $11.0 billion (see Table II-12).
For FY 2004, NASA states that its budget will "emphasize research
that is most appropriate for NASA to do, including reducing or terminating
programs that are lower priority or not central to the agency's mission."
In order to help accomplish this, NASA will also focus on attempting to
control spiraling costs in "enabling capabilities" such as launch
vehicles, space platforms and ground facilities.
NASA's request for FY 2004 includes $337 million for new initiatives including
$26 million for Aviation Security, $27 million for National Airspace System
Transition Augmentation, $15 million for Quiet Aircraft Technology Acceleration,
and $26 million for an Education Initiative. Another new initiative, Project
Prometheus, adds $186 million from the Nuclear Systems Initiative to $93
million of new spending for a mission to explore three of Jupiter's Galilean
In the FY 2004 proposal, NASA's budget is separated into two new accounts,
Science, Aeronautics and Exploration (SAE) and Space Flight Capabilities
(SFC). (These were changed from Human Space Flight (HSF) and Science,
Aeronautics, and Technology (SAT).) SAE is further divided into five separate
Enterprises: Space Science, Earth Science, Biological and Physical Research,
Aerospace Technology, and Education. Space Flight Capabilities is divided
into Space Flight, which includes the Space Station, Space Shuttle and
support activities; and Crosscutting Technologies, which includes the
Space Launch Initiative and Tech Transfer Partnerships.
Within SAE, the Space Science would see a substantial increase (12.7 percent)
over last year to a level of $4.0 billion with the majority of the increase
($286 million) going towards Solar System Exploration. Meanwhile, Earth
Science would take an 8.1 percent hit down to a level of $1.6 billion.
The Biological and Physical Research programs, which focus on basic and
applied research, would increase by $37 million (4.0 percent) to a level
of $973 million. That amount includes a $47 million increase for Biological
Sciences Research and $7 million cut in Physical Sciences Research. Aerospace
Technology would take an 8.5 percent or $89 million cut to a level of
It is unclear as of this writing how or if the Columbia shuttle disaster
on February 1, 2003 will change these priorities or budget amounts. (For
more on the NASA budget, see Chapter 10.)
NATIONAL SCIENCE FOUNDATION (NSF)
Electrotechnology has a high priority in the 2004 NSF budget request.
One highlight is the initiation of a Cyberinfrastructure program to fund
projects to demonstrate how high-performance super computers and net works
could be linked with massive databases, sensors, and visualization capabilities
to bring supercomputer capabilities to the desks of researchers.
In addition there is a 60 percent increase in Major Research Equipment
and Facilities Construction (MREFC) that would fund many electrotechnology
projects. This includes the Atacama Large Millimeter Array, EarthScope,
a multi-purpose geophysical instrument array, the High-performance Instrumented
Airborne Platform for Environmental Research and other smaller projects.
The NSF has long been recognized as one of the federal government's most
successful and efficient agencies. It is the only agency to receive the
highest rating in both of the President's Management Agenda initiatives.
The NSF reviews over 60,000 proposals for fellowships and grants each
year and distributes approximately $4 billion in research funding with
a direct overhead of only 5 percent. This tremendous "bang for the
buck" is not lost on the Bush Administration. In its FY 2004 budget
request, the Administration cites great value in the contributions of
NSF: "These investments will sustain and build U.S. global leadership
in science, engineering, and technology, and assist the U.S. in addressing
priorities of immediate national importance." Indeed, during the
last Congress, President Bush signed into law a bill (H.R. 4664) authorizing
the doubling of NSF funding over the next five years, to the surprise
of many in the science and engineering communities.
The Administration's budget request for NSF, however, is not in line with
the amounts recommended by H.R. 4664. The authorization bill calls for
a level of $4.8 billion for Research and Related Activities (R&RA)
and $6.4 billion overall in FY 2004. The actual budget request calls for
$4.1 billion for R&RA, an increase of $50 million or 1.2 percent.
NSF overall would be funded at $5.5 billion. Total R&D in the request
would be $4.0 billion, a 2.8 percent or $109 million increase over FY
2003 (see Table II-7).
NSF supports seven major research areas, or directorates, including: Biological
Sciences (BIO), Computer and Information Science and Engineering (CISE),
Education and Human Resources (EHR), Engineering (ENG), Geosciences (GEO),
Mathematical and Physical Sciences (MPS), and Social, Behavioral and Economic
Sciences (SBE). It also has accounts for Polar Programs and Major Research
Equipment and Facilities Construction (MREFC).
The Engineering Directorate, which supports research in areas including
information technology, biotechnology, and microeletronics would increase
by $6 million to a level of $537 million. The Mathematical and Physical
Sciences (MPS) activity would increase by 2.6 percent to a level of $1.1
billion. This Directorate supports education and research in the physical
and mathematical sciences. The Electrical and Communications Systems Subactivity
in the Engineering Directorate would see 2.4 percent decline from $73
million to $71 million.
The Computer and Information Science and Engineering Directorate (CISE)
budget would increase by 1.0 percent to $584 million, $218 million of
which would go to the NSF's Information Technology Research priority area
(an increase of 4.2 percent). The IT Research work is being directed at
seeking ways to improve methods of gathering, storing, analyzing, sharing,
and displaying information. All other programs under CISE would decrease
or stay flat.
The NSF also is also a major source of funds for nanotechnology research.
As part of the National Nanotechnology Initiative (NNI), the NSF would
fund Nanoscale Science and Engineering at $249 million (see Table
I-10 and Chapter 25 for more on NNI).
One of the stated priorities for the NSF in the FY 2004 budget is to "attract
more students to graduate study in science and engineering, improve the
quality of preK-12 math and science educations, and advance research on
learning." The President's budget request includes $200 million for
the Math and Science Partnership (MSP) program, $73 million over last
year. This is the third year in a 5-year, $1 billion program designed
to improve achievement in math and science at the pre-kindergarten to
12th grade level
The FY 2004 funding level for Major Research Equipment and Facilities
Construction (MREFC) is also slated for a large increase: $54 million
(36.2 percent) to a level of $202 million. (For more on NSF, see Chapter
DEPARTMENT OF ENERGY (DOE)
After a slight increase in FY 2003, DOE's R&D budget would increase
in FY 2004 by $330 million (4.0 percent) to a level of $8.5 billion (see
Table II-11). The DOE R&D budget is divided
into seven separate accounts: Energy Supply; Science; Fossil Energy; Energy
Conservation; Atomic Energy Defense; Clean Coal Technology; and Radioactive
For the second year in a row, Fossil Energy is hit hard in the request.
Following a 17.3 percent requested cut last year in the President's budget,
Fossil Energy is slated for 14.9 percent or $72 million cut in FY 2004
to a level of $411 million. R&D in Radioactive Waste Management would
be another big loser with a 5.4 percent or $3 million cut. The most substantial
increase would be R&D in the Energy Supply account which would increase
by 21.9 percent to a level of $376 million.
As President George W. Bush stated in his State of the Union address in
January, this administration will make a major push to accelerate the
development and utilization of hydrogen-powered fuel cells. With a goal
of commercializing hydrogen-powered cars by 2015, the administration will
add a new Hydrogen Fuel initiative to its existing FreedomCAR Partnership.
The combined budget for these initiatives is $272 million for FY 2004
and is projected to be $1.5 billion over 5 years.
Through the expertise inherent at its national laboratories, the DOE is
a major contributor to nanotechnology research, and is making a strong
bid for an even larger role. The FY 2004 budget requests $64 million more
for nanoscience research to a level of $197 million, a 48 percent increase
over FY 2003. DOE is proceeding under this budget for four Nanoscale Science
Research Centers at a cost of $87 million and is constructing the equipment
for a potential fifth center. (For more on DOE, see Chapter
9; for more on DOE's role in NNI, see Chapter
NATIONAL INSTITUTE OF STANDARDS AND TECHNOLOGY (NIST)
Within the Department of Commerce, the National Institute of Standards
and Technology (NIST) and its Scientific and Technical Research and Services
budget would receive an increase of 7.3 percent, or $22 million, to $330
million for R&D (see Table II-14) to support
testing, measurement and standards research in its Electronic and Electronics,
Physics, Computer Science and other laboratories. Priorities for new funding
include nanotechnology measurements and biometrics.
Due largely to the proposed elimination of two extramural programs, however,
overall NIST R&D would decrease by 22.1 percent to a level of $410
million. The Bush Administration attempted unsuccessfully to eliminate
the NIST Advanced Technology Program (ATP) in FY 2002-2003, but funding
was restored by Congress, which looks more favorably on this program that
seeks to accelerate the development of innovative technologies that promise
significant commercial payoffs and widespread benefits for the nation.
The ATP is yet again a target for elimination in the FY 2004 budget. Another
program targeted for phase-out in 2004 is the Manufacturing Extension
Partnership (MEP) program. While not strictly an electrotechnology R&D
program, the MEP does help small businesses to manufacture advanced electrotechnology
products. The Administration's rationale is that the program was originally
designed to become self-supporting after six years. (For more on NIST,
see Chapter 13.)
NATIONAL INSTITUTES OF HEALTH (NIH)
Almost buried within the huge $27.9 billion NIH budget request is $282
million to support NIH's fledgling National Institute for Biomedical Imaging
and Bioengineering (NIBIB), which supports R&D geared toward applying
electro- and other technologies to medical applications (see Table
II-9). (For more on NIBIB, see Chapter 27;
for more on the NIH budget, see Chapter 8.)