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Senate Report 109-088 - DEPARTMENTS OF COMMERCE AND JUSTICE, SCIENCE, AND RELATED AGENCIES APPROPRIATIONS BILL, 2006

TITLE III--SCIENCE

DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE

NATIONAL INSTITUTE OF STANDARDS AND TECHNOLOGY

Appropriations, 2005 $699,225,000
Budget estimate, 2006 531,965,000
House allowance 548,744,000
Committee recommendation 844,500,000

The Committee recommends an appropriation of $844,500,000. The recommendation is $145,275,000 above the fiscal year 2005 funding level and $312,535,000 above the budget request.

The recommendation provides that up to $3,000,000 may be transferred from the Scientific and Technical Research and Services account to the Working Capital Fund, which the National Institute of Standards and Technology [NIST] uses to purchase equipment for its laboratories.

A description of each NIST account and the corresponding Committee recommendation follows in the subsequent three headings.

SCIENTIFIC AND TECHNICAL RESEARCH AND SERVICES

Appropriations, 2005 $378,764,000
Budget estimate, 2006 426,267,000
House allowance 397,744,000
Committee recommendation 399,869,000

The Committee recommends an appropriation of $399,869,000. The recommendation is $21,105,000 above the fiscal year 2005 funding level and $26,398,000 below the budget request. The recommendation provides the maximum funding deemed prudent for this account to insure that NIST meets its mission.

The Committee's recommendations are displayed in the following table with specific increases described:

SCIENTIFIC AND TECHNICAL RESEARCH AND SERVICES
[In thousands of dollars]
Committee recommendation
Electronics and Electrical Engineering 50,833
Manufacturing Engineering 22,423
Chemical Science and Technology 54,443
Physics 42,706
Materials Science and Engineering 33,500
Building and Fire Research 22,321
Computer Science and Applied Mathematics 65,425
Technology Assistance 16,134
National Quality Program 7,154
Research Support Activities 47,018
National Research Facilities 37,912
Total, STRS 399,869

Within the funds made available for Electronics and Electrical Engineering, $7,000,000 is for the Office of Law Enforcement Standards [OLES].

Within the funds made available for Research Support Activities, $16,028,000 is for the Building Competence for Advanced Measurements Program, $1,027,000 is for the For Inspiration and Recognition of Science and Technology Program, $10,678,000 is for the Postdoctoral Research Associates Program, $1,503,000 is for the Nanoparticle Risk Impact and Assessment Program, and $612,000 is for the Operation Safe Commerce Program.

INDUSTRIAL TECHNOLOGY SERVICES

Appropriations, 2005 $247,943,000
Budget estimate, 2006 46,800,000
House allowance 106,000,000
Committee recommendation 246,000,000

The Committee recommends an appropriation of $246,000,000. The recommendation is $1,943,000 below the fiscal year 2005 funding level and $199,200,000 above the budget request.

Hollings Manufacturing Extension Programs [MEP]- The Committee recommends an appropriation of $106,000,000 to fully fund all MEP centers. MEP supports a network of locally-run centers that provide technical advice and consultative services to small manufacturing companies in all 50 States and Puerto Rico. Many of these firms lack the technical knowledge and experience to implement cutting edge technologies and cost saving processes, which places them at risk from foreign competition. The MEP, since its inception, has consistently been the one program that small manufacturers could look to for assistance. Whether it is assisting with quality standards, implementing Y2K solutions, or providing strategic planning, the MEP has delivered the services needed by small manufacturers. Based on a sampling of clients surveyed in fiscal year 2004, MEP clients indicated that the assistance they received resulted in increased sales of $1,500,000,000; retained sales of $2,600,000,000; cost savings of $686,000,000; and the creation and retention of 50,315 jobs. These economic impacts justify the full funding of the MEP.

Advanced Technology Program [ATP]- The Committee recommends an appropriation of $140,000,000. Within the amounts made available, $60,000,000 is to be used to fund new awards. ATP is an industry-led, highly competitive, and cost-shared program that allows U.S. companies to develop the next generation of breakthrough technologies. These innovations enable revolutionary products, cutting-edge industrial manufacturing processes, and creative new services for the world's markets. Independent studies have shown that ATP is delivering on its mission. In a sampling of just 6 percent of the ATP projects, the sampled projects returned $17,000,000,000 in net economic benefits, approximately an eight-fold return on investment. The ATP program is critical to ensuring that U.S. industries capture market share in the facing of growing global competition, particularly in the fields of science and technology.

CONSTRUCTION OF RESEARCH FACILITIES

Appropriations, 2005 $72,518,000
Budget estimate, 2006 58,898,000
House allowance 45,000,000
Committee recommendation 198,631,000

The Committee recommends an appropriation of $198,631,000. The recommendation is $126,113,000 above the fiscal year 2005 funding level and $139,733,000 above the budget request.

The recommendation funds the highest priority safety, capacity, maintenance, and repair projects at the National Institute of Standards and Technology [NIST]. Of the amounts provided: $4,000,000 is to enable the relocation of staff from the leased NIST North building back to the main Gaithersburg, Maryland, campus; $9,400,000 is for the final phase of construction of the Boulder, Colorado, Central Utility Plant; $4,000,000 is for the design and renovation of Building 4 in Boulder to facilitate the relocation of the Instrument Shops from Wing 3 of Building 1; $6,500,000 is for Phase I of the Building 1 renovation design which includes construction documentation and Architectural and Engineering Post Construction Award Service [PCAS] for the renovation of Wings 3 and 4; $4,000,000 is for the Institute for Security Technology Studies; and $10,100,000 is for Phase II of the Building 1 renovation design which includes construction documents and construction management for the remaining wings and spine of Building 1 in Boulder. Funding for the latter will allow economies of scale to be achieved in procuring construction support and design services. In addition, $35,000,000 is provided for ongoing Safety, Capacity, Maintenance, and Major Repairs projects at the Gaithersburg and Boulder facilities.

The Committee has included bill language requiring that out-year budget estimates be submitted by the Secretary of Commerce for fiscal year 2007 and each year thereafter as part of the annual budget justification materials for each construction project supported by the NIST appropriations.