FY06 Budget Briefing by Under Secretary for Technology Phillip Bond and NIST Acting Director Hratch Semerjian (pdf)
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WASHINGTON, D.C. - An increased emphasis on research to support key Administration priorities in advanced manufacturing, homeland security, and health and information technologies highlights the FY 2006 request for the Commerce Department's Technology Administration (TA) submitted to the Congress today by President Bush. The budget proposes a total of $536.2 million in funding for TA, underscoring the President's continued commitment to research and development.
"This budget includes significant boosts for TA's highest priority research efforts while still supporting the President's commitment to responsible spending restraint," said Under Secretary of Commerce for Technology Phillip J. Bond. "It enables us to continue to act as strong advocates for innovation and industrial competitiveness both inside and outside the government, and provide our nation with a reliable foundation for the technology infrastructure."
The Technology Administration includes the technology policy staff of the Office of the Under Secretary, the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) and the National Technical Information Service (NTIS). Below is a more detailed breakdown of the TA budget:
Office of the Under Secretary: $4.2 million
The mission of the Technology Administration is to maximize technology's contribution to America's economic growth. The Under Secretary leads the development of national policies and initiatives that 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 economic growth, job creation, homeland security and education. The Department will propose legislation to modernize the Department's technology agencies in response to the converging technology marketplace and policy interests.
National Institute of Standards and Technology: $532 million
The TA/NIST budget is divided into three appropriations:
- $426.3 million for Scientific and Technical Research and Services (STRS)—an increase of 12.5 percent over 2005. It includes $420.6 million for the NIST laboratories, technical programs and major user facilities 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 and improve quality in virtually all technology-intensive sectors; and $5.7 million for the Baldrige National Quality Program.
The STRS budget request includes three research initiatives that target pressing national priorities:
- An increase of $19.6 million to support a multifaceted program on Advances in Manufacturing, with components addressing nanomanufacturing (+$4 million), efficient manufacturing enterprise integration (+$1.6 million), and a program to expand U.S. access to global markets through improved measurements and standards (+$4 million). A key part of the initiative is the establishment of a national nanomanufacturing and nanometrology facility at NIST (+$10 million).
- An increase of $3 million for an expanded program in Measurements and Standards for Homeland Security focusing on improved safety standards and guidelines for building codes and for equipment for emergency first responders (+$2 million), and improved biometrics for personal identification (+$1 million).
- An increase of $17.2 million for New Measurement Horizons for the U.S. Economy and Science, to improve the nation's fundamental measurement capabilities in three key areas: biosystems and health (+$7.2 million), interoperability and security for complex scientific systems (+$2 million), and quantum computing (+$4 million), as well as an expansion of the NIST Competence Program to foster new measurement capabilities needed in developing areas of science and technology (+$4 million).
- $46.8 million for Industrial Technology Services (ITS), funding the Hollings Manufacturing Extension Partnership Program, helping small manufacturers across the nation to become more competitive and productive. Consistent with efforts to shift resources to best meet national needs, the FY 2006 budget proposes termination of the Advanced Technology Program.
- $58.9 million for Construction of Research Facilities (CRF), covering critical safety, maintenance, repair and facilities upgrades. The CRF budget includes two important initiatives:
- An increase of $32 million to address pressing issues of facility modernization primarily at the NIST Boulder Labs that are impairing NIST's ability to deliver critical measurement services in several areas, including time and frequency standards. This budget also will 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.
- An increase of $3.4 million to support necessary preventive maintenance for NIST's Advanced Measurement Laboratory, one of the world's most sophisticated laboratories and a valuable national resource for critical measurements in nanotechnology, biotechnology, quantum computing and other exacting fields.
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 2006 appropriation request for the function.