President Bush outlined his continued support for science and technology in the FY 2005 budget request he sent to Congress today. Under the proposed plan the Technology Administration (TA) would receive $529.8 million. The funding builds on the President's continued commitment to research and development, especially in the areas of nanotechnology and cybersecurity.
"The President realizes that technology is central to both our economic security and our homeland security," said Under Secretary of Technology Phillip J. Bond. "Given the President's efforts to hold the line on non-defense funding, this budget request represents a significant investment in our science and technology infrastructure that would enable us to both win the war on terror and remain competitive around the world."
The Technology Administration includes the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST), Office of Technology Policy (OTP), and the National Technical Information Service (NTIS). Below is a more detailed breakdown of the TA budget:
National Institute of Standards and Technology: $521.5 million
The President's request for NIST is $521.5 million. The request is divided into three appropriations:
- $422.9 million for Scientific and Technical Research and Services (STRS), including $417.5 million for the NIST Laboratories that provide U.S. industry and the science/technology community with the measurement capabilities, standards, evaluated reference data and test methods needed to support innovation, improve quality and lower transaction costs in virtually all technology-intensive sectors; and $5.4 million for the Baldrige National Quality Program.
The NIST Laboratory budget includes several research initiatives to strengthen our nation's technological competitiveness, including:
- $15.6 million to support advances in key manufacturing areas, including nanomanufacturing research, nanometrology for the electronics and semiconductor industries, advanced medical technologies, and measurements and standards for international trade, and to create a National Nanofabrication and Nanometrology User Facility;
- $18.6 million for research on measurements and standards for public safety and security, including improved standards, technology and practices for building construction and for the safety of emergency first responders; measurement technologies for homeland security such as the rapid detection and response to chemical, biological, radiological, nuclear or explosive agents; improved standards and technologies for biometric identification; and cybersecurity;
- $16.2 million for advanced measurement science, standards and services, including measurement capabilities to support emerging technologies in biosystems; research on quantum-level computing and communications systems; improvements to NIST's critical time scale and time dissemination services; and an expansion of the NIST Competence Program to foster new measurement capabilities needed in developing areas of science and technology;
- $8.3 million for capability improvements at the NIST Center for Neutron Research, to enable this facility, which has been called the highest performing and most used neutron facility in the United States, to significantly expand its collaboration with industrial, government and academic researchers in materials science, biotechnology, chemistry, engineering, and physics (in addition, this increase will help to cover sharp increases in NCNR's operating costs); and
- $25.5 million for special instrumentation and equipment needs for the new NIST Advanced Measurement Laboratory. The AML is the world's most sophisticated measurement and standards laboratory, and will facilitate high-precision research in support of key areas such as nanotechnology, biotechnology and homeland security. To take advantage of its unique mix of capabilities to control vibration, temperature, humidity and other environmental factors affecting precision metrology experiments, NIST requires equally specialized instruments and equipment.
- $59.4 million for Construction of Research Facilities (CRF), covering critical issues in safety, maintenance, repair and facilities upgrades. The CRF budget includes two important initiatives:
- $25.7 million primarily to address pressing issues of facility modernization at the NIST Boulder Labs that are impairing NIST's ability to deliver critical measurement services in several areas, including time and frequency standards; and
- $10.6 million to increase the NIST annual safety, capacity, maintenance and major repairs budget for Gaithersburg, Md., and Boulder, Colo., to avoid continual costly deterioration and obsolescence issues.
- $39.2 million for Industrial Technology Services (ITS), including funding for the NIST Manufacturing Extension Partnership that supports a national network helping many small U.S. manufacturers become more competitive and productive. The Administration recognizes the important role manufacturing plays in our economy, and on Jan. 16 Secretary Evans released a comprehensive manufacturing strategy, Manufacturing in America. A key part of that strategy includes continued support for the MEP and steps to review and improve its efficiency. To emphasize competition in global markets, for example, MEP field agents will team directly with trade promotion specialists in the International Trade Administration to leverage ITA's connections and in-depth knowledge of industrial sectors. The report also recommends that MEP hold a recompetition of all centers that focuses on improving effectiveness and efficiency. This budget proposal funds MEP at the level agreed to by the Congress in the FY 2004 Consolidated Appropriations Act.
Consistent with efforts to shift resources to best meet national needs, the FY 2005 budget proposes termination of the Advanced Technology Program.
Office of Technology Policy (OTP): $8.3 million
The mission of the Technology Administration is to maximize technology's contribution to America's economic growth. OTP's mission is to develop national policies and initiatives to enable technology to best contribute to America's competitiveness.
The funding in the President's budget proposal will be used to support the agency's work with the private sector to maximize technology's impact on the war on terrorism, homeland security, job creation, nanotechnology, education and economic growth. This budget line also funds the office of the Under Secretary.
National Technical Information Service: fee supported
NTIS is a repository of much of the government's technical information that is used by the science and technical communities. NTIS maintains, sells and distributes a collection of scientific and technical information from various federal agencies.
NTIS covers its operating costs through fees for its products and services; in keeping with past practice, there is no FY 2005 appropriation request for the function.