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President's FY 1996 Budget Seeks More Than $1 Billion For Technology Administration

President Clinton's fiscal year 1996 budget request for the Commerce Department's Technology Administration is $1.037 billion, a $165.2 million increase over the current appropriation of $871.8 million.

Led by the Office of the Under Secretary for Technology, the Technology Administration includes the Office of Technology Policy, the National Institute of Standards and Technology, and the National Technical Information Service.

Commerce Secretary Ronald H. Brown said, "The increases proposed for the Technology Administration in FY 1996 reinforce the President's commitment to enhancing the technological capabilities of American industry as the foundation of U.S. competitiveness by supporting industry-led technology partnerships, speeding the development and commercialization of civilian technologies, and building a solid technology infrastructure for the 21st century."

The President's request for TA includes:

  • $13.9 million (FY 1995: $10 million) for the Office of the Under Secretary for Technology and the Office of Technology Policy to significantly strengthen the analytical capabilities of these offices.
  • $1.023 billion (FY 1995: $853.8 million) for the National Institute of Standards and Technology to bring its programs closer to the funding levels required for the programs to have their maximum impact on U.S. economic growth. At the proposed funding level, NIST's budget would represent only about 1.4 percent of total federal R&D; expenditures.

Office of the Under Secretary for Technology/Office of Technology Policy

The FY 1996 US/OTP request seeks an additional $3.9 million to the current appropriation of $10 million to provide support for: coordination of the Partnership for a New Generation of Vehicles ($0.3 million of the FY 1996 increase), a collaboration between the federal government and the auto industry to aggressively explore new technologies that will lead to cleaner, more fuel-efficient vehicles; strengthening OTP's core analysis abilities ($1.4 million of the FY 1996 increase) to better meet the current and projected technology policy and advocacy analysis needs of the Commerce Department and the rest of the Administration; and the joint effort to strengthen the economies of both the United States and Israel via high- technology activities promoted by the U.S.-Israel Science and Technology Commission ($1.9 million of the FY 1996 increase).

National Institute of Standards and Technology

The FY 1996 budget request for NIST is divided into three separate appropriations:

  • $642.5 million (FY 1995: $524.7 million) for technology development and industrial outreach that includes cost-shared funding to industry for preproduct development of high-risk, potentially high-payoff, enabling technologies through the Advanced Technology Program; more widely distributed services and expanded hands-on technical assistance to small and medium-sized manufacturers through a growing nationwide network of centers under the Manufacturing Extension Partnership; and continuation of a quality outreach program associated with the Malcolm Baldrige National Quality Award. Separately, the requests for the three programs include:
    • $490.9 million (FY 1995: $430.7 million) for the Advanced Technology Program. The increase will enable the ATP to fund one general competition and one new focused program competition in FY 1996. This should translate into 40 to 60 additional industry projects beyond the 300 projects begun in FY 1995 and previous years.
    • $146.6 million (FY 1995: $90.6 million) for the Manufacturing Extension Partnership. The increase will be used to run competitions for 10 additional manufacturing extension centers (toward the President's goal of 100 by 1997) in the MEP network and take over the federal government's share of funding for 22 centers originally supported by the Technology Reinvestment Project (the government's program to provide funds for both military and civilian technology development, deployment and utilization).
    • $4.9 million (FY 1995: $3.4 million) for the quality outreach program based on the Malcolm Baldrige National Quality Award. The increase will be used to establish a quality research and outreach component (in collaboration with U.S. businesses and universities) to identify and more extensively disseminate information on successful quality management strategies.
  • $310.7 million (FY 1995: $264.5 million) for research by NIST laboratories that is planned and conducted with U.S. industry, including increases in semiconductor metrology, health care measurements, biotechnology, environmental technologies, advanced materials and processing, information technologies, construction technologies, and measurements and standards for emerging instrumentation industries.
  • $69.9 million (FY 1995: $64.6 million) for critically needed construction and renovation to replace laboratory space that is becoming scientifically obsolete at NIST's 30- to 40- year-old facilities in both Maryland and Colorado. What appears to be an increase in construction funding over the FY 1995 level is actually a resumption of planned funding levels in a 10-year effort to bring NIST's facilities up to levels that will permit measurement-related research to meet industry's current and future needs.

National Technical Information Service

NTIS is a self-supporting agency and there is no request for federal appropriations in FY 1996. (FY 1995: $8 million—appropriation for modernization purposes)

Released February 6, 1995, Updated January 8, 2018