Recent growth in Department of Homeland Security
(DHS) R&D funding would slow in FY 2006, but would still gain ground
in an era of tight budgets. DHS R&D would increase $44 million
or 3.6 percent to $1.3 billion (see Table II-6),
after increases of more than $200 million in each of the past three years.
The top priorities in the DHS R&D portfolio would be $246 million
for radiological and nuclear countermeasures (double this year’s investment)
to establish a Domestic Nuclear Detection Office (DNDO), $102 million
for chemical countermeasures (up 93 percent) and $110 million for R&D
to counter portable anti-aircraft missiles (up 80 percent).
Large increases for the top priorities would be offset by cuts in other
areas of the DHS R&D portfolio, including explosives countermeasures
(down a quarter to $15 million), threat and vulnerability assessments
(down 29 percent to $47 million), standards development (down 11 percent
to $36 million), rapid prototyping (down two-thirds to $21 million), cybersecurity,
and transportation security.
The largest part of the DHS R&D portfolio would continue to be biological
countermeasures with an investment of $362 million in FY 2006, down slightly
from this year.
The FY 2006 budget proposes to finish the process of consolidating all
DHS R&D into the Directorate of Science and Technology (S&T).
In FY 2006, R&D programs that transferred into DHS with the Transportation
Security Administration (TSA) and the Coast Guard (CG) in 2003 would be
moved out of those units into S&T, though at reduced funding levels.
years ago, the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) took shape with the
transfer of nearly two dozen federal agencies into a new cabinet-level
department, in the largest reorganization of the federal government since
the 1940s. Two years later, DHS has mostly integrated its component agencies
and is poised to finish building and consolidating its new science and
technology capabilities to provide the knowledge and technology base for
the federal government’s homeland security efforts. In FY 2006, DHS hopes
to consolidate all R&D programs into one unit.
The DHS R&D
President’s FY 2006 budget request proposes a budget of $29.3 billion
in discretionary funding for DHS in FY 2006, a slight increase of 1.2
percent (excluding FY 2005 disaster relief supplementals and Bioshield
funding) that represents a maturation of the homeland-security effort
after the frenzied start-up phase of the last several years. Although
still a high priority in these uncertain times, the tighter FY 2006 DHS
budget would require some tough choices in spending priorities, as well
as a controversial increase in user fees to pay for airport security programs.
The DHS R&D portfolio mirrors the trends in the overall DHS budget:
after annual increases greater than 20 percent in the first few years
of its existence, growth in the DHS R&D portfolio would level off with an FY 2006 request
of $1.3 billion, up $44 million or 3.6 percent (see Table
II-6 and Figure 1). Although the increase compares favorably with
other R&D funding agencies facing flat budgets or cuts in the tight
FY 2006 budget proposal, increases in some parts of the DHS R&D portfolio
would require offsetting cuts in other areas that have previously enjoyed
large increases. Unlike other DHS activities, DHS inherited few R&D
programs from other agencies at its birth in 2003; therefore, the large
increases in R&D funding for the past few years were devoted to building
R&D capabilities from scratch to meet the urgent need for science
and technology to address homeland security concerns. Now that the start-up
phase of DHS R&D is mostly complete, R&D programs should see more
stable funding profiles with trade-offs between different areas based
on changing assessments of DHS’ science and technology needs.
R&D in the
Directorate of Science and Technology
most DHS R&D programs have their home in the Directorate of Science
and Technology (S&T). This Directorate has responsibility for setting
homeland-security R&D goals and priorities, coordinating homeland
security R&D throughout the federal government, funding homeland security
R&D, facilitating the transfer and deployment of technologies for
homeland security, and advising the DHS Secretary on all scientific and
FY 2006, DHS proposes to finish consolidating all R&D activities within
the S&T Directorate. Up to this year, the Transportation Security
Administration (TSA) and Coast Guard (CG), which transferred to DHS from
the Department of Transportation (DOT) in 2003, have retained their own
R&D programs, but in FY 2006
the S&T Directorate would take over their R&D portfolios and become
responsible for 100 percent of the department’s $1.3 billion in R&D
funding. Nearly all of the $1.4 billion total S&T Directorate
budget would go toward R&D activities except for $81 million in management
majority of R&D funds in the S&T directorate would be for development
activities (56 percent of the FY 2005 portfolio), with another 3 percent
for the construction of R&D laboratories, leaving 40 percent for basic
and applied research. The ratios would be similar in the proposed FY 2006
budget. Unlike many other R&D funding agencies, which are responsible
for research but are not responsible for bringing technology-based products
all the way to market or deployment, DHS has responsibility for the entire
spectrum of science and technology, all the way from basic research to
engineering work to development to deployment of new technologies in the
hands of DHS employees and state and local responders. Thus, its R&D
portfolio was at least initially heavily skewed toward development based
on the urgent technology needs of front-line homeland security personnel.
In this way, the DHS portfolio is similar to DOD’s portfolio rather than
the research-oriented models of NIH or NSF. Over its young life, DHS has
gradually boosted its proportion of research within the R&D portfolio
to achieve a more-balanced mix between research and development, even
as it retains its missions of delivering working technologies into the
hands of DHS personnel and other first responders. This move toward a
more research-oriented portfolio would continue in the FY 2006 budget,
although DHS would remain outside the top 10 federal agency sponsors of
(basic and applied) research at #11. DHS is already the seventh-largest
federal sponsor of R&D.
an era of record-breaking federal budget deficits and tightening restraints
on discretionary spending, even defense and homeland security spending
are not immune from tough choices in the FY 2006 budget, requiring careful
balancing of priorities. The FY 2006 DHS R&D portfolio, with a 3.6
percent increase far smaller than past increases allowing every program
area to receive more funding, would set clear priorities among DHS’ R&D
program areas (see Figure 1 and Table II-6). The
top priorities in the DHS R&D portfolio would be radiological and
nuclear countermeasures (doubling to $246 million in FY 2006), including
the establishment of a Domestic Nuclear Detection Office (DNDO); chemical
countermeasures (almost doubling to $102 million); and R&D to counter
portable anti-aircraft missiles (up 80 percent to $110 million).
FY 2006 budget would provide $227 million in FY 2006 for a new Domestic
Nuclear Detection Office (DNDO), which would make up most of the $246
million DHS investment in radiological and nuclear countermeasures, double
the $123 million FY 2005 investment. The DNDO would develop, acquire,
and support a domestic system to detect and report terrorist attempts
to transport or use radiological or nuclear materials. DNDO will be staffed
with a multi-agency team and will coordinate its efforts with the intelligence
community, and hopes to fund R&D, develop new technologies, and transition
these technologies to field use. Within this portfolio, there would also
be $9 million to finish construction of a Radiological / Nuclear Countermeasures
Test and Evaluation Complex (Rad/Nuc CTEC) at the Nevada Test Site to
provide laboratory facilities for this work.
Counter MANPADS portfolio would nearly double to $110 million (up 80.3
percent). Man Portable Air Defense Systems (MANPADS) are shoulder-mounted
portable air missiles that have been used (unsuccessfully so far) against
passenger aircraft. Fears of a successful MANPADS attack against commercial
aircraft have jump-started DHS’ Counter MANPADS effort. The increased
FY 2006 investment would allow DHS to develop, prototype, and test promising
technologies in aircraft to give policymakers a range of options on how
to most effectively protect commercial aviation.
large part of the 93 percent increase for R&D on chemical countermeasures
to $102 million would be for $20 million in new funds for a Low Volatility
Agent (LVA) Warning System. This development effort would attempt to develop
technologies that could detect and warn against chemical threats with
low vapor pressures that elude current detectors, with a vision of deployable
detectors that can detect and identify low-vapor threats in time to respond
area proposed for a large increase is R&D for Support of DHS Components,
up 71 percent to $94 million. This R&D portfolio represents S&T
Directorate R&D programs that directly support the missions and capabilities
of other DHS units, such as the Border Patrol, the Secret Service, the
Emergency Preparedness and Response directorate, and the Coast Guard.
Key technologies explored in this portfolio are border surveillance technologies,
container shipping security, disaster modeling and simulation capabilities,
and protective equipment.
Large increases for the priorities above
would be offset by cuts in other areas of the DHS R&D portfolio, including explosives countermeasures (down a quarter
to $15 million), threat and vulnerability assessments (down 29 percent
to $47 million), standards development (down 11 percent to $36 million),
rapid prototyping (down two-thirds to $21 million), critical infrastructure,
cybersecurity, and transportation security. TSA and Coast Guard R&D
programs, mostly in transportation security, funded at a combined $196
million in FY 2005 would be consolidated within the S&T Directorate
at $117 million in FY 2006, a dramatic reduction.
Funding would also decline slightly to
$64 million for University Programs and Fellowship Programs, down from $70 million in FY 2005 but still well above
$22 million last year. This program funds several university-based centers
of excellence and is a funding source dedicated exclusively to funding
university-based research. DHS has already designated four university-based
centers for homeland security; the latest, awarded to the University of Maryland and its partners, will focus on behavioral and social aspects of terrorism.
Another focuses on threat assessments and two focus on agro-terrorism.
The fifth center, to be awarded this year, will focus on preparations
and responses to terrorist attacks, and will be followed by three other
centers to be awarded by the end of FY 2006. The program also funds cooperative
centers awarded in collaboration with other federal agencies for research
areas of mutual interest: there will soon be a joint DHS-EPA award for
a center on microbial risk assessment, followed by two more cooperative
centers by the end of FY 2006. This program also funds fellowships and
scholarships that fund graduate education and research opportunities for
scientists and engineers in areas related to homeland security. By FY
2006, a rotating group of 300 students will be funded by DHS as well as
numerous postdocs and researchers.
The largest part of the portfolio would
continue to be biological countermeasures with an investment of $362 million in FY 2006, down slightly from this
year. Although no money would be requested, construction of the National
Biodefense Analysis and Countermeasures Center (NBACC) at Fort Detrick, Maryland would continue in FY 2006 with previously appropriated
funds toward a target completion date of 2008. There would also be $23
million in new funds to start construction of a National Bio and Agrodefense
Facility (NBAF), a $450 million total project with a scheduled completion
of 2010 to enhance DHS capabilities to respond to food or animal-borne
terrorist threats. The remaining biodefense countermeasures portfolio
would continue R&D activities in areas such as the BioWatch program,
which has been developing and testing biological detection technologies
in major U.S. cities through a network of automated sample collectors.
of the above S&T directorate funds will be spent in federal laboratories
or federally funded R&D centers (FFRDCs; government-owned, contractor-operated
laboratories). DHS has an Office for National Laboratories that coordinates
DHS interactions with DOE national laboratories possessing expertise in
homeland security. Over the past year, DHS has set up its own FFRDC, a
new Homeland Security Institute (HSI), and has also consolidated R&D
activities at laboratories it inherited from other departments, such as
the Plum Island Animal Disease Center in New York, the Coast Guard Research and Development Center in Connecticut, and the Transportation Security Laboratory in New Jersey. The extramural R&D portfolio in the S&T directorate
is managed by the Homeland Security Advanced Research Projects Agency
(HSARPA), modeled on the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA)
in the Department of Defense (DOD). HSARPA awards extramural grants for
basic and applied research to promote revolutionary changes in homeland
security technologies; develops and tests potential homeland security
technologies; and accelerates or prototypes the development of homeland
security technologies to get them ready for deployment. As part of its
work, HSARPA also runs DHS’ Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR)
program of competitive R&D awards to small and medium-sized businesses.
R&D in Other
DHS Directorates and Programs
the proposed consolidation of DHS R&D into the S&T Directorate,
other DHS units will rely on S&T for their science and technology
needs, as envisioned in the authorizing legislation that created DHS.
the Emergency Preparedness and Response (EPR) directorate, there is $5.6
billion over 10 years to procure biodefense countermeasures from the private
sector, which could provide strong incentives for private-sector investments
in biodefense R&D. The FY 2004 DHS budget provided $885 million in
FY 2004 and $2.5 billion in FY 2005 for the program named Project BioShield.
Although responsibility for management of the program now rests with the
Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), specifically its Office of Public Health and Emergency
Preparedness (OPHEP), funding for the program comes from the DHS budget.
Last November, HHS awareded the first BioShield contract, a $878 million
contract to VaxGen for 75 million doses of an anthrax vaccine, with more
awards scheduled to be announced this year and next year. Although not an R&D program, the program is designed
to encourage private-sector R&D investments in biodefense vaccines,
therapeutics, and other countermeasures by providing a guaranteed government
market for future products. Stockpiles of purchased countermeasures will
go to the Strategic National Stockpile (SNS), formerly housed in DHS but
now back in HHS.
Security R&D Programs
Although DHS is now the focal point for
homeland security-related R&D in the federal government, the majority
of federal homeland security-related R&D remains outside the department.
Bioterrorism R&D programs at the National Institutes
of Health (NIH) make up the largest part of federal homeland security
R&D. Total federal homeland security R&D would
be $4.4 billion in FY 2006, a boost of 4.9 percent, of which the DHS R&D
portfolio makes up less than one third. (For more on the total homeland
security-related R&D portfolio, see Chapter 1
and Table I-6).
Next Steps and
rapid start-up phase of the DHS R&D portfolio appears to be ending,
and with it the double-digit percentage increases of the past few years.
As the DHS R&D infrastructure emerges in more or less its mature shape,
DHS now has to make tough choices among competing R&D priorities just
as other agencies do, and also make tough choices in balancing its research
needs with development and facilities needs. Within an overall homeland
security R&D effort and a total homeland security effort that are
also leveling off from rapid post-September 2001 increases, the next phase
of homeland security funding in which budget pressures that affect other
domestic programs also affect homeland security programs begins with the
FY 2006 budget.