On Aug. 9, the President signed the America COMPETES Act (Public Law Number 110-69), which authorizes funding for the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) for the next three years. Several provisions have immediate consequences for NIST and related Department of Commerce agencies and programs.
The statute authorizes a NIST budget of $863 million for FY 2008. This includes funding for NIST's portion of the President's American Competitiveness Initiative, which puts NIST's core programs (laboratories and facilities) and two other science and technology agencies on track to double their R&D budgets over 10 years. The FY 2007 budget for NIST was $676.9 million.
The act eliminates NIST's Advanced Technology Program (ATP), but allows for continued support for previous and pending ATP awards. NIST plans to announce awards for the 2007 (and final) ATP competition by Sept. 30, 2007.
The same statute creates the Technology Innovation Program (TIP). NIST will work on details of implementing regulations for this new program.
The act also eliminates the Department of Commerce's Technology Administration (TA).
The full title of the authorization bill is Public Law Number 110-69, The America Creating Opportunities to Meaningfully Promote Excellence in Technology, Education and Science Act (COMPETES).