|Agency R&D Budgets|
(Full agency analyses of R&D in FY 2004 appropriations, including historical charts and supplemental material, are available on the AAAS R&D Web site.)
In the final Department of Defense (DOD) budget for FY 2004, total research and development (R&D) at DOD climbs to $66.3 billion - an increase of 13.0 percent or $7.6 billion from the FY 2003 level. The FY 2004 appropriation brings DOD R&D to an all-time high in inflation-adjusted dollars (see Table 4 and Figure 4). DOD is by far the largest supporter of R&D in the federal government, accounting for more than half the total federal R&D portfolio. Because of defense cutbacks following the end of the Cold War, DOD's support for R&D declined by a third following a peak in FY 1987 but has increased dramatically in the past few years to surpass Cold War highs (see Figure 4). The Bush Administration has made increasing DOD spending in general and DOD weapons development spending in particular a high priority, especially in the aftermath of September 11. Congress added to the already record-setting Administration request for DOD R&D.
Nearly all ($6.3 billion) of the enormous $7.6 billion DOD R&D increase will go to weapons development activities ("6.4" through "6.7" plus other appropriations; see Figure 4). Advanced Component Development ("6.4"), Systems Development and Demonstration ("6.5"), and Operational Systems Development ("6.7") all increase by more than $1 billion each (see Table 4). These categories cover advanced development work, mostly performed by industrial firms as defense contractors, on specific weapons systems. Most of the "6.5" increase comes from the $4.3 billion appropriation (up from $3.4 billion in FY 2003), divided between the Navy and Air Force, for the Joint Strike Fighter (JSF), a next-generation fighter in development for future use by all the services and U.S. allies.
DOD basic research funding (the "6.1" category) actually falls in FY 2004 amid record-breaking R&D increases, by $13 million or 0.9 percent to $1.4 billion (see Table 4). The final Defense budget appears to provide a slight increase to "6.1" funding, but "6.1" funding actually declines after general reductions of roughly 1 percent affecting all R&D programs are factored in. DOD proposed to move funding for the University Research Initiatives program, which funds competitively awarded basic research grants to university performers, from OSD to the three services. Congress agreed to these proposed transfers. Overall, funding for University Research Initiatives rises 22 percent to $286 million, with much of the increase going to congressionally designated, performer-specific projects (earmarks). Funding for the Defense Research Sciences program, however, which funds basic research in DOD laboratories and universities, falls 6 percent to $893 million across the three services and DARPA in FY 2004, though this is an improvement over the requested 11 percent cut.
Applied Research funding rises by 3.6 percent to $4.4 billion, in contrast to a requested cut (see Table 4). The "6.1" and "6.2" research accounts provide a significant share of federal support for several key science and engineering disciplines. DOD provides more than 40 percent of all federal support for engineering research and a majority of federal support for some key engineering subfields. DOD also provides more than a third of total federal support for computer sciences research and plays a prominent funding role in other disciplines such as mathematics and oceanography. The "6.1" and "6.2" accounts are also important for the nation's colleges and universities, which perform more than half of the "6.1" research and roughly 20 percent of "6.2" research.
The "6.1," "6.2," and "6.3" categories are often grouped together as "Science and Technology" (S&T). This category includes basic research, applied research, and advanced technology development. These programs contribute to a broad knowledge base with potential applications to a wide variety of military as well as civilian uses.
DOD funding of "S&T" (the "6.1" through "6.3" categories plus medical research) climbs $1.3 billion or 12.0 percent to a record $12.6 billion in FY 2004, a sharp reversal from a proposed cut of nearly $1 billion in the Administration's request (see Table 4). In the past few years, there has been growing support inside and outside the Pentagon for setting 3 percent of the regular DOD budget as a goal for the proper level of S&T investment, and the last two DOD budgets have met that goal. The final Defense bill raises the S&T/budget ratio to 3.3 percent in FY 2004, in contrast to the request which would have lowered it to 2.7 percent. The final increase is heavily concentrated in the "6.3" programs, which collectively increase by 23.3 percent to $6.2 billion, including a 55 percent boost to Air Force investments in technology projects.
The FY 2004 DOD budget contains a separate $486 million appropriation, outside the regular R&D accounts, for medical research (see Table 4), up 6.0 percent from last year's funding level. Included in this total is $150 million for breast cancer research and $85 million for prostate cancer research (same as the FY 2003 funding levels) to be awarded through peer-reviewed competitive grants. The final Defense bill also contains numerous congressionally designated, performer-specific appropriations for medical research in DOD's regular accounts, totaling $315 million in the Army and $62 million in the Navy. Counting these appropriations, the FY 2004 DOD budget contains more than $860 million for congressionally designated medical research projects.
R&D in the Defense Agencies increases $1.5 billion or 8.8 percent to $19.0 billion, primarily because of a $948 million increase to $7.6 billion for advanced development activities in the Missile Defense Agency (MDA; see Table 5). The missile defense program is a high priority for the Bush Administration, and also for Congress. Including some missile defense development funded by the Army, the total missile defense development effort climbs 19 percent to $8.2 billion in FY 2004, in preparation for deploying a test system as soon as possible. The MDA (formerly the Ballistic Missile Defense Organization) no longer funds research; nearly all missile defense funds go to advanced development, testing, manufacturing development, and evaluation of missile defense systems with an additional $824 million elsewhere in the DOD budget for procurement of completed systems.
The Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) has an R&D
budget of $2.8 billion in FY 2004, an increase of $144 million or
5.4 percent (see Table 5). DARPA is mostly
research-oriented, and its broad research portfolio is aimed at expanding
the frontiers of knowledge and military technology to provide future solutions
to DOD's technology needs. DARPA has been dogged by controversy over the
past year concerning some of its research projects. One DARPA proposal,
to do research on a possible 'futures market' to predict terrorist attacks,
was canceled on the drawing board after public outcry over the concept.
Another DARPA project that had already started, the Terrorism Information
Awareness (TIA) project to engage in R&D on creating better systems
and networks to analyze, process, and find patterns in intelligence and
other data, attracted considerable public and congressional criticism
based on worries that the project could lead to new technologies with
unprecedented capabilities to monitor personal information. The final
Defense budget terminated the TIA, eliminated TIA's home in DARPA's Information
Awareness Office, and instructed DARPA to distribute the Office's other
programs among other DARPA offices.
After a completed five-year doubling campaign involving 15 percent increases for each of the past five years, growth in the National Institutes of Health (NIH) budget slows sharply in FY 2004. Although the Bush Administration and Congress promised to double the NIH budget between FY 1998 and FY 2003 and kept the promise, there were no promises for continuing growth in FY 2004 and beyond. With the prospect of record budget deficits for the next few years, and higher priorities for big-ticket budget items such as tax cuts and a prescription drug benefit for Medicare, Congress and President Bush have pledged to restrain growth in domestic spending. To meet this pledge, the NIH budget returns to earth in FY 2004.
The FY 2004 budget provides $28.0 billion for the NIH, an increase of 3.2 percent or $878 million over FY 2003 (see Table 8) that adds $152 million to the President's request.
NIH R&D, which makes up 97 percent of the NIH budget, totals $27.1 billion (up 3.2 percent). NIH is the second-largest supporter of R&D in the federal government after the Department of Defense (DOD). It is by far the largest supporter of basic research, applied research, and R&D at colleges and universities, and has a disproportionate impact on support for the life and medical sciences and other fields. The remaining 3 percent of the NIH budget goes to research training and overhead costs.
The modest growth in the NIH budget is distributed relatively evenly in FY 2004, unlike the large differentials in the FY 2003 budget awarding larger increases for bioterrorism, facilities construction, and cancer. Although biodefense research remains a high priority in FY 2004 and receives a disproportionate increase, nearly all the NIH institutes receive increases of about 3 percent (see Table 8). Only the Office of the Director (OD; up 23.1 percent) and NIH's biodefense research receive significantly greater increases.
In FY 2004, NIH biodefense R&D drops slightly to $1.6 billion, but funding of biodefense research grants (excluding facilities) more than doubles. Last year, NIH became the lead research agency in the burgeoning federal effort to combat bioterrorism. NIH identified $1.7 billion for bioterrorism-related R&D and infrastructure in FY 2003, up substantially from only $275 million in FY 2002. In FY 2004, NIH will shift its funding toward research grants and away from the construction of facilities. Most of the new biodefense funds go to the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID), whose budget increases 16.3 percent to $4.3 billion in FY 2004. The new NIAID funds go to support rapid growth in investigator-initiated biodefense research grants as well as support of biodefense research centers at university campuses.
NIH Buildings and Facilities funding falls from $629 million in FY 2003 down to $89 million; in FY 2004, NIH discontinues most FY 2003 one-time funding for facilities construction, including funding for extramural and intramural biodefense research laboratories and NIH facilities improvements. Congress rejected NIH's proposal to discontinue an $120 million program for extramural construction in the National Center for Research Resources (NCRR) in FY 2004, providing $119 million for this competitively awarded construction grants program, leaving NCRR with a 3.5 percent increase in its overall budget rather than a requested cut.
HIV/AIDS research is another priority in FY 2004. The NIH HIV/AIDS R&D portfolio expands roughly 4 percent in FY 2004 to reach approximately $2.9 billion. Most of this research will be funded by NIAID, the lead institute for AIDS research; also included in the final FY 2004 budget is $150 million (up from $100 million in FY 2003) to be transferred to the Global Fund to Fight HIV/AIDS, Malaria, and Tuberculosis - an international public-private partnership to provide grants for the prevention, treatment, and cure of these diseases. (The Agency for International Development (AID) also contributes to the Global Fund; the omnibus bill contains $400 million for the FY 2004 AID contribution to the Fund.)
Although 95 percent of total R&D funding at the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) comes from the NIH, there is also significant research funded by other HHS agencies (see Table 9). Funding at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) is primarily aimed at non-R&D activities such as public health and health promotion activities and more recently in biodefense for programs such as increasing state and local preparedness and improving security, but CDC also has a strong intramural research program. Congress provides $574 million for CDC R&D activities, up 0.1 percent from FY 2003 and a significant boost over the $521 million request. CDC also receives research funds from the Office of the Secretary (see Table 9) for a variety of biodefense-related research activities, including $18 million for anthrax vaccine research. CDC also receives $294 million for non-R&D global HIV/AIDS programs that complement Global Fund dollars provided to NIAID (above). CDC will continue SARS research in FY 2004 out of its regular budget, building from a special $16 million emergency appropriation in FY 2003.
Although other R&D funding agencies have struggled to maintain their budgets in the past several years, NIH has enjoyed extraordinary success on Capitol Hill, and its budget growth accelerated between FY 1998 and 2003. As shown in Figure 6, NIH has enjoyed steady growth in its R&D budget over the past two decades. NIH's budget growth accelerated during the NIH doubling campaign (in non-inflation adjusted terms) in the five years to FY 2003. But in FY 2004, growth slows down considerably.
The slower growth could have significant impacts on the number of NIH grants and on success rates. In February 2003, NIH estimated that the FY 2004 request would allow it to award 37,467 Research Project Grants (RPGs), the investigator-initiated, competitively awarded grants that make up the core of NIH's R&D portfolio. Of that total, NIH estimated that 10,509 would be new competing awards, an increase of 344 new awards (up 3.4 percent), far smaller than the annual increases in the doubling period. The omnibus bill would come in only slightly over the request, so the RPG totals should be similar when NIH finishes allocating its FY 2004 budget. But the net increase in new awards would be for biodefense research grants, so it is highly likely that the FY 2004 NIH budget will mean fewer new non-biodefense RPGs than last year. Not surprisingly, the competition for new grants is projected to get tougher: the omnibus bill will likely confirm NIH's estimates that 29 percent of RPG applications will be successful overall in FY 2004, down from an estimated 30 percent last year and 31 percent in FY 2002.
R&D contracts are the only funding mechanism to receive large increases
in FY 2004. The NIH request presumed $2.8 billion for R&D contracts
in FY 2004, a 15.7 percent increase, because much of NIH's expanding effort
in biodefense research will be conducted through this mechanism. There
may also be a smaller but still substantial 8 percent increase to $2.6
billion for Research Centers, again primarily because of the expanding
biodefense research effort funneled through university-based Regional
Centers of Excellence for Biodefense and Emerging Infectious Diseases.
Nearly four months after the start of FY 2004, Congress gave final approval on January 22 to the FY 2004 NSF budget. The FY 2004 omnibus bill provides $5.6 billion in FY 2004 for the National Science Foundation (NSF), an increase of 5.0 percent or $268 million over FY 2003 (see Table 10) that adds $97 million to the President's request. An NSF authorization bill calling for a doubling of the NSF budget between FY 2002 and FY 2007 was signed into law in December 2002, but the FY 2004 appropriation falls $1 billion short of the authorized $6.6 billion funding level for FY 2004.
NSF's R&D funding, which excludes NSF's education and training activities and overhead costs, totals $4.1 billion, an increase of 4.7 percent or $186 million (see Table 10).
The Research and Related Activities (R&RA) account, which funds most of NSF's R&D, receives $4.3 billion, 4.8 percent or $195 million more than FY 2003. The research directorates receive increases between 3 and 7 percent, in contrast to the President's request which would have resulted in cuts to some of the directorates. The Biological Sciences (BIO) directorate would have seen its budget fall 1.6 percent in the request, but the omnibus bill allows funding to increase 3.0 percent to $589 million, including $90 million specifically for the plant genome research program (up from $84 million).
Congress emphasizes NSF support of the physical sciences, with the Directorate of Mathematical and Physical Sciences (MPS) receiving a 5.7 percent boost to $1.1 billion. Within the physical sciences and engineering, Congress boosts funding of nanotechnology research to $255 million for NSF's contribution to the multi-agency National Nanotechnology Initiative (NNI), $34 million more than last year. For the computer sciences, the 4.7 percent boost for the Computer and Information Science and Engineering (CISE) directorate to $606 million allows for $225 million in IT Research, the core program of the multi-agency Networking and Information Technology R&D initiative, up from $209 million last year. The Engineering Directorate (ENG), also playing a major role in the NNI and IT, receives $558 million (up 5.1 percent).
Congress expands NSF's support for universities' research instrumentation needs, with an emphasis on minority-serving institutions (MSIs). NSF receives $110 million for the Major Research Instrumentation (MRI) program (within Integrative Activities), a $20 million boost to the request. The final bill eliminates Senate language that would have allocated $30 million of the MRI total specifically for instrumentation needs at MSIs, but leaves in language encouraging NSF to dedicate as much of the $20 million add-on to the request as possible to MSIs. The MRI program awards competitive grants to universities and colleges to purchase scientific and engineering equipment and instrumentation to be used for research and training.
Funding for the Major Research Equipment and Facilities Construction (MREFC) account, which funds construction of large-scale scientific facilities, is $155 million in FY 2004, similar to last year's funding level but well below the $202 million request. The omnibus bill funds only five of the seven requested projects, and adds an extra year of funding for an old project. Because of budget constraints, Congress declined to fund two projects (the High-Performance Instrumented Airborne Platform (HIAPER) and the National Ecological Observatories Network), but adds an extra year for Terascale Computing Systems. The final bill does not fund two future projects that the House proposed to start a year early.
NSF's Education and Human Resources (EHR) programs receive $939
million, 4.0 percent above FY 2003. The heart of the Administration's
request was $200 million for the third year of a Math and Science Partnerships
(MSP) program to encourage academic institutions and schools to work
together to improve math and science education. Congress trims the request
to $140 million, but the same omnibus bill provides $150 million for the
Department of Education's share of this two-agency program, up dramatically
from a $13 million request. Combined, the MSP programs receive $290 million
in FY 2004, up from $228 million in FY 2003.
The omnibus bill provides $95 million for the Experimental Program to Stimulate Competitive Research (EPSCoR), $5 million more than the FY 2003 level. EPSCOR assists research institutions and states that have traditionally been underrepresented in federal R&D funding. Also benefiting from congressional generosity is the 'tech talent' program to increase the numbers of US citizens pursuing undergraduate math and science degrees. Started last year, the program's budget is $25 million in FY 2004, a dramatic expansion from just $2 million last year.
The FY 2004 appropriation continues the recent trend of increases for
NSF. Figure 7 shows the recent history of NSF's budget for R&D and
compares the final appropriated budgets with the requests. The line shows
that NSF R&D grew steadily in the 1980s and until FY 1995, but then
stagnated and even declined because of severe budget pressures in the
mid-1990s as the federal government restrained discretionary spending
to achieve a balanced budget. But the chart also shows that NSF's R&D
investment resumed its long-term growth trend after FY 1998, when the
government entered a (now-ended) age of surpluses. The FY 2004 increase
brings NSF R&D to an all-time high.
The National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA)'s FY 2004 budget proposal in February 2003 was finalized before the Columbia shuttle disaster. The loss of seven astronauts and the shuttle threw the proposed FY 2004 budget in disarray, and a year later NASA's future plans are still in flux. At the end of August, the Columbia Accident Investigation Board (CAIB) released its findings, which harshly criticized NASA practices in managing the Shuttle and called for far-ranging changes in the program. In response, NASA is still mapping out plans for a return to human space flight, which could happen in fall 2004 at the earliest. In limbo are of course the Space Shuttle program (the largest item in the budget), the International Space Station (still under construction, and dependent on the Shuttle for crews, supplies, and construction materials), and other human space flight programs.
In the meantime, the FY 2004 omnibus bill provides NASA with a total budget of $15.4 billion in FY 2004, the same amount as FY 2003 and $91 million less than the request (see Table 6). With the recent presidential announcement of plans to send men to the moon again on the way to Mars, the FY 2005 budget will probably see increases. NASA's R&D (two-thirds of the agency's budget) falls 0.4 percent to $11.0 billion because non-R&D programs, of which the largest is the Space Shuttle, have higher priority. The cuts fall primarily on the International Space Station, delayed because of the sidelining of the Space Shuttle.
Because of the uncertain situation at NASA, the omnibus bill provides unusual flexibility in the NASA budget, especially the Space Flight Capabilities (SFC) account which funds the above programs. NASA will have some freedom to move funds within the $7.5 billion SFC appropriation as necessary to get the Space Shuttle program up and running again as its budget needs become clearer. While the omnibus bill allows $3.9 billion for the program, a 1.5 percent increase, the final allocation for this program, the International Space Station, and other SFC accounts will depend on evolving NASA needs.
Congress gives $1.5 billion to the Space Station, down $344 million from FY 2003, but actual funding could go even lower after transfers to the Shuttle program. With the original deadline of February 2004 for completion of the core station now shattered, the Station is now essentially in maintenance mode of two astronauts supplied by Russian spacecraft, with construction activities in limbo indefinitely.
With the Shuttle fleet grounded, a program to explore possible alternatives has taken on new importance. Congress provides $1.0 billion for the Space Launch Initiative (SLI), a program to develop and test alternative space launch and transportation technologies, specifically alternatives to the Space Shuttle. Its two main projects are the Orbital Space Plane (OSP) and the Next Generation Launch Technology (NGLT) program. Both programs were thrown into turmoil by the recent presidential announcement of plans to return to the moon on the way to a possible manned mission to Mars. In response, NASA has announced plans to cancel the OSP and work instead on developing a Crew Exploration Vehicle spacecraft as a replacement for the Shuttle. The NGLT program explores longer-term reliable alternatives for launch technology which could be incorporated into future human launch vehicles.
Most of NASA's R&D is funded through the Science, Aeronautics, and Exploration (SAE) account, which receives $7.9 billion in FY 2004, a 5.7 percent boost over FY 2003 (see Table 6). This account, reorganized somewhat and renamed from the Science, Aeronautics, and Technology (SAT) account, should be relatively unaffected by the aftermath of the shuttle disaster, but overall funding could change in later NASA plans if additional resources need to be diverted to SFC programs. Space Science is the big winner in SAE, winning an increase of 11.7 percent to $4.0 billion in FY 2004. Biological and physical research continues to be a high priority, increasing from $935 million to $990 million, an increase of 5.9 percent, but since much of this research is proposed for the Space Station this account will have to be adjusted to accommodate a revised Space Station construction schedule.
The cuts to NASA's R&D portfolio in FY 2004 keep NASA R&D essentially
level-funded for the past decade. NASA's R&D funding has barely kept
pace with inflation going back to FY 1991, and there are few signs that
it will grow significantly, at least in the near future. Although the
Bush Administration's moon and Mars plan promises new development efforts,
initial indications are that most of the money will come from reprogramming
from other NASA accounts rather than large funding increases in FY 2005
and later. With a return to the moon nearly twenty years away and a possible
trip to Mars nearly three decades away, the presidential announcement
does little to change NASA's near-term budget prospects.
The FY 2004 budget provides $8.7 billion for DOE's R&D programs, $506 million or 6.1 percent more than FY 2003 (see Table 7). Although DOE's energy and defense-related R&D activities receive substantial increases in the final budget plan, DOE's Office of Science will have only a modest increase.
DOE's R&D portfolio receives a greater percentage increase than the DOE budget as a whole. The total FY 2004 DOE budget is $23.2 billion in FY 2004, an increase of nearly $1 billion above FY 2003 and slightly below the Administration request (see Table 7). More than two-thirds of the DOE budget goes to defense-related activities involving the U.S. nuclear weapons stockpile and related environmental clean-up costs, including defense-related R&D to support these activities.
R&D in DOE's Science program is a modest winner in the final Energy bill, though much of the increase goes to congressional earmarks. Although the Administration proposed flat funding at $3.1 billion for the third year in a row, Congress has added $124 million to the request for a total of $3.2 billion in FY 2004, a 3.8 percent boost compared to last year. The funding boost should allow Science's major research programs to increase operating time and user support at scientific user facilities. The Office of Science operates unique, large-scale research facilities at DOE's national laboratories around the country, which external researchers can use for their own experiments through a competitive proposal process. In recent years, tight budgets have squeezed operating time at these facilities. Funding for the largest OS account, Basic Energy Sciences, declines $13 million to $1.0 billion, but only because construction costs of the Spallation Neutron Source, a new large-scale facility in Tennessee, will decline in FY 2004. BES support of research grants and facilities user time will actually increase in FY 2004, especially in the area of nanoscale science.
Congress also provides additional funds to the Fusion Energy Sciences program to ensure that U.S. participation in an international fusion project will not crowd out domestic research. The Fusion appropriation of $263 million is $14 million more than last year and $5 million more than the request. In January 2003, DOE announced that the U.S. would rejoin the International Thermonuclear Experimental Reactor (ITER) project after leaving the $5 billion international project in 1998, and proposed $12 million as the U.S. contribution to the project. In the request the new ITER funding would have necessitated a small reduction in U.S.-based fusion research, but Congress approved $8 million for ITER participation and added $7 million to the request for domestic fusion research to keep domestic fusion funding level.
The largest Office of Science increase goes to Advanced Scientific Computing Research (ASCR), whose funding jumps 19.1 percent to $204 million in contrast to a flat request. Much of the new funding will support the acquisition of additional advanced computing capabilities and additional R&D on next-generation computing and its applications, but $2 million of ASCR funding would come from the FY 2004 omnibus bill for an earmarked nanotechnology and computing research center.
The Biological and Environmental Research (BER) account is home to 95 congressionally designated, performer-specific R&D earmarks totaling $93 million in FY 2004. The BER appropriation is $590 million for FY 2004, $90 million more than the request and $63 million or 12.0 percent more than FY 2003. Last year's BER budget contained $50 million in R&D earmarks while the request deleted all of them, so nearly half the increase over FY 2003 and all of the increase above the request goes to fund the FY 2004 crop of R&D earmarks.
After more than a decade of steep cuts and stagnant budgets, the DOE Office of Science has less money now for its R&D programs than it did in the early 1990s. In today's dollars, the Science program has been stuck at roughly $3 billion since FY 2001, and even the FY 2004 increase enables the Office to just barely stay ahead of inflation.
On the energy side, the increases are larger. The final DOE budget boosts funding for R&D on hydrogen and nuclear energy, but cuts spending in other renewable energy areas. In February 2003, the Bush Administration proposed a major expansion of hydrogen-related R&D as a long-term step toward using hydrogen fuel cells to power automobiles. Within the Energy Supply account, the Bush Administration proposed to boost hydrogen research from $40 million to $88 million, offset by cuts in other energy programs. Congress trims the request down to $78 million, almost double the FY 2003 level, but left in place proposed cuts to biomass, geothermal, solar, and wind energy research. The overall Solar and Renewables R&D program increases 5.8 percent to $254 million.
In other energy programs, there are generous increases. While the Bush Administration requested a sharp 15 percent cut in Fossil Energy R&D, Congress added back the funds and provided $514 million, a remarkable 6.5 percent increase over FY 2003. Congress added funds to the Administration's $130 million request for its Clean Coal Power Initiative to develop and demonstrate new coal-fired electricity generation technologies, for a new total of $172 million. Congress also voted to reverse the Administration's proposed cuts to R&D related to other fossil fuels such as petroleum, natural gas, and other fuels. Congress was able to be so generous with these programs by rescinding unspent funds in the Clean Coal Technology program, a predecessor to the Clean Coal Power Initiative. Congress also approved a large increase in Energy Conservation R&D by 6.8 percent over FY 2004 to $456 million in FY 2004, $14 million above the request. Among activities that receive additions to the request are building technologies, distributed energy resources, industrial technologies, and vehicle technology R&D. Congress trimmed the $78 million request for fuel cell technologies R&D, part of the Administration's hydrogen fuel cell initiative, down to $66 million, but this still represents a large increase over FY 2003 funding levels.
On the defense side, most of DOE's R&D is funded by the National Nuclear Security Administration (NNSA), which was created in 2000 as a semi-autonomous agency within DOE. NNSA funds maintenance of the nation's nuclear weapons stockpile through science-based research, mostly in its core Weapons Activities account. R&D in Weapons Activities has grown substantially in recent years in lockstep with rapid growth in overall defense spending, from $2.4 billion in FY 2001 to $2.9 billion last year, and grows again to $3.2 billion in FY 2004 for an 8.9 percent increase. Within the overall portfolio, there is a slight 2.4 percent increase in funding for Advanced Simulation and Computing, an effort to develop the next generation of computer processing technologies to better model nuclear explosions, to $721 million. Inertial Confinement Fusion R&D funding rises 2.0 percent to $514 million, including $149 million for continued construction of the National Ignition Facility in California.
In 2003, there was considerable controversy over the Bush Administration's proposal to initiate research on a new generation of nuclear weapons, including the Robust Earth Penetrator (RNEP) project (nicknamed a 'bunker buster' bomb) and other tactical or 'low-yield' nuclear weapons. After much congressional wrangling over relatively modest investments, the final Energy/Water bill provides $7.5 million in Weapons Activities for early research on RNEP and $6 million for research on other new nuclear weapons concepts, but stipulates that no funds may be used for development or testing. The bill also withholds $4 million in funding until DOE submits a detailed plan on the U.S. nuclear weapons stockpile to Congress. In parallel, President Bush signed into law in November 2003 the FY 2004 defense authorization bill (HR 1588) which repeals the longstanding U.S. prohibition on research and development of low-yield nuclear weapons, thus allowing this research program to take place, but prohibits DOE from entering the development phase of the RNEP or other tactical nuclear weapons unless it receives explicit authorization from a future Congress.
The new Department of Homeland Security (DHS) will be one of the major funding sources of R&D in FY 2004. The DHS R&D portfolio will total $1.04 billion, up 56 percent from FY 2003 (see Table 16). On October 1, President Bush signed into law the first-ever Homeland Security appropriations bill (HR 2555) providing FY 2004 funding for programs in the newly created Department of Homeland Security (DHS). DHS took shape just months before on March 1 with the transfer of nearly 180,000 federal employees in nearly two dozen federal agencies to the new department. DHS programs had previously been funded in nine different appropriations bills, but for the FY 2004 appropriations process both the House and the Senate consolidated DHS programs into a single Homeland Security appropriations bill.
The final appropriation for DHS R&D is well above the $907 million request announced in February 2003. Congress added $79 million to the request for transportation security R&D, $60 million to the request for university programs, and $60 million for antiaircraft missile countermeasures, partially offset by minor reductions in other areas.
Nearly all DHS R&D programs find their home in the Directorate of Science and Technology, one of four broad directorates in the new department. The Directorate is led by Charles McQueary, confirmed in March 2003 as the first Under Secretary for Science and Technology, who reports directly to the Secretary for Homeland Security (Tom Ridge). Congress agreed on $869 million for R&D in the S&T Directorate, up $348 million or 66.8 percent from the FY 2003 funding level (see Table 16).
One reason for this enormous increase in funding is that unlike the other directorates S&T is building many of its capabilities from scratch. Although the Directorate became the new home of existing Department of Defense, Energy, and Agriculture programs with an estimated budget of $521 million in FY 2003, the Directorate will have to create brand-new R&D capabilities in several areas to address critical knowledge gaps in homeland security. Table 16 shows the division of the S&T Directorate budget among the various program areas for the President's request and the final DHS 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 will have 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 will at least initially be heavily skewed toward development. In this way, the DHS portfolio will be very similar to DOD's portfolio, which is also heavily oriented toward development over research, rather than the research-oriented models of NIH or NSF.
The final DHS FY 2004 budget will provide a total of $70 million for University Programs and Fellowship Programs, a boost of $60 million over the request of $10 million. This program will fund several university-based centers of excellence and will be a funding source dedicated exclusively to funding university-based research. The Department expects to designate several university-based centers for homeland security in FY 2004; the competition for the first such center, oriented toward threat assessments using the social sciences, resulted recently in an award to the University of Southern California. Universities will not be limited to just this pool of money; they will also be able to compete for R&D funds in the other program areas. This program will also fund fellowships that will bring scientists and engineers from academia and private industry to work within DHS.
DHS will also provide $60 million in new funds for R&D on antimissile devices for commercial aircraft, in the hopes of developing and prototyping of antimissile devices that can be fitted on airplanes. The new funding responds to increasing congressional concern in recent months that terrorists could launch attacks on U.S. commercial airplanes using shoulder-fired missiles from the ground, similar to the failed attacks on an Israeli passenger jet two years ago in Africa.
DHS plans to create a new R&D unit in the S&T directorate in FY 2004, the Homeland Security Advanced Research Projects Agency (HSARPA), modeled on the existing Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) in the Department of Defense (DOD). HSARPA will distribute much of the R&D money within the directorate, and will have a role in most of the above areas. HSARPA will award extramural grants for basic and applied research to promote revolutionary changes in homeland security technologies; will develop and test potential homeland security technologies; and will accelerate or prototype the development of homeland security technologies to get them ready for deployment. HSARPA has already hired employees and has begun to establish its processes for awarding R&D grants, and in September issued its first solicitation, for detection systems for biological and chemical threats. In addition to HSARPA, the Directorate will create several other organizations and advisory structures over the next few months to a year in order to carry out its S&T tasks.
Congress and the President have agreed to set aside $5.6 billion over
the next 10 years to procure biodefense countermeasures from the private
sector, which could provide strong incentives for private-sector investments
in biodefense R&D. The final DHS budget provides $885 million
in FY 2004 and an additional $4.7 billion between 2005 and 2013 for the
program named Project BioShield in the President's State of the Union
address. 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. DHS, through its Emergency Preparedness Directorate,
will purchase and stockpile these countermeasures using the $5.6 billion
The Department of Commerce avoided steep proposed cuts to its R&D programs. Although the Bush Administration and the House proposed to eliminate the Advanced Technology Program in 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, decline 5.7 percent to $291 million despite a requested increase (see Table 11). 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 funding by 63 percent down to $39 million. Total NIST R&D falls 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 rises 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 $361million.
The U.S. Department of Agriculture's (USDA) R&D falls 4.9 percent or $111 million in the FY 2004 omnibus bill to $2.2 billion in FY 2004, primarily because of steep cuts to research facilities funding (see Table 12). The FY 2003 USDA budget included one-time emergency funds for construction and security upgrades at USDA laboratory facilities related to biodefense concerns. Without the facilities funds, USDA R&D actually increases slightly by 1.8 percent. Although USDA requested $200 million for the National Research Initiative of competitively awarded extramural research grants, Congress provides only $164 million, $36 million less than the request and $2 million less than FY 2003. Congress instead provides $111 million for the congressionally earmarked Special Research Grants, as well as $131 million in other intramural and extramural earmarked research grants.
The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) budget in FY 2004 rises slightly, as does its R&D funding. The total EPA budget is $8.4 billion in the omnibus bill, $287 million more (3.5 percent) than FY 2003. EPA's R&D funding rises 1.6 percent to $654 million (see Table 15), primarily because one-time emergency funding for building decontamination research in FY 2003 is replaced by $56 million in earmarked R&D projects. Most of EPA's core R&D programs receive increased funding compared to FY 2003.
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 an across-the-board cut in the omnibus bill; see Table 14). 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 or 7.9 percent to $676 million because of a requested boost to the Bureau of Land Management's R&D activities.
Congress slashes R&D in the Department of Transportation (DOT) by $58 million or 8.2 percent to $644 million in FY 2004 (see Table 13). The cuts hit both of DOT's major R&D agencies, the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) and the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA), both of which are primarily funded through trust funds whose receipts from transportation taxes have recently declined.
The Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) has an R&D portfolio
of $820 million in FY 2004, an increase of 2.5 percent. VA's research
is performed inside its network of VA hospitals and clinics by VA personnel,
and focuses on health issues with impacts on the nation's veterans.