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Q&A on Recovery Act Funding to NIST

1. How much Recovery Act funding does NIST receive?

Answer: Through the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act, NIST is provided a total of $612 million. Congress directly appropriated $580 million to NIST, and the remaining $30 million is appropriated to other federal agencies with the requirement that they transfer funds to NIST to carry out projects supporting those agencies.

2. Where does the Recovery Act money go?

Answer: $220 million goes to NIST's Scientific and Technical Research and Services (STRS) appropriation for NIST laboratory research, competitive grants, additional research fellowships, and advanced research and measurement equipment and supplies. These funds will support economic growth and U.S. innovation in areas of national priority in science and technology.

  • $360 million is allotted to NIST's Construction of Research Facilities (CRF) appropriation. Half ($180 million) is designated for NIST infrastructure, including construction projects that create new jobs, improve energy and operational efficiency, and spur innovation by advancing NIST research through improved facilities. The other half ($180 million) is a competitive construction grant program for funding science research facilities outside of NIST. This, too, will provide construction jobs and lead to sustained economic growth by advancing U.S. leadership in science and technology.

  • $20 million is a transfer from the Department of Health and Human Services to NIST for standards-related research that supports development of electronic medical records to reduce healthcare costs and improve the quality of care.

  • $12 million is a transfer from the Department of Energy to perform research assigned to NIST under the Energy Independence and Security Act of 2007 (PL 110-140). This funding supports collaborative efforts with industry and federal agencies to develop a comprehensive framework for a nationwide, fully interoperable smart grid for the U.S. electric power system. 

3. Do the Hollings Manufacturing Extension Partnership and Technology Innovation Program receive Recovery Act funding?

Answer: No. The Recovery Act does not provide any appropriations to NIST's Industrial Technology Services, which funds the Hollings Manufacturing Extension Partnership and the Technology Innovation Program.

4. How will NIST specifically spend the Recovery Act funding?

Answer: NIST is drafting a spending plan that will be posted on its Recovery Act Web site and on once approved by the Department of Commerce and the Office of Management and Budget.

5. How will NIST put the Recovery Act funding to work quickly while maintaining fiscal responsibility?

Answer: NIST takes very seriously its responsibility to contribute to national economic recovery and reinvestment through wise use of the Recovery Act funding.  NIST is developing careful plans and rigorous management and oversight mechanisms to ensure the funds are spent for maximum near-term and longer-term benefit to the U.S. economy. The Recovery Act funding is one-time in nature and must be spent before September 30, 2010.

6. How will you use the money for NIST construction projects?

Answer: Most NIST facilities were constructed 40 to 50 years ago. The current state of many of our laboratories hinder measurement and research productivity, and do not meet modern standards for conservation of energy, water and other resources. NIST has an estimated $504 million backlog of priority projects in its Safety, Capacity, Maintenance and Major Repairs program. This backlog, as well as other types of NIST construction activities, will be considered in developing a spending plan for these funds.

7. What types of labs will the external construction grants fund?

Answer: The American Recovery and Reinvestment Act directs NIST to fund "a  competitive construction grant program for research science buildings." Details describing eligibility, application requirements and other guidance related to this grant program will be linked on this Web site, as well as on and in the Federal Register as soon as available.    

Created July 14, 2009, Updated September 9, 2021