The National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) will receive $610 million in funds as part of the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009. The agency will use the funds for programs that support U.S. innovation and industrial competitiveness, key factors in spurring economic growth.
The Act provides $220 million in direct appropriations for NIST laboratory research, competitive grants, research fellowships, and advanced research and measurement equipment and supplies. An additional $360 million in direct appropriations is provided for construction of research facilities, half for NIST projects and half for a competitive grant program for science research facilities outside of NIST. Additional funding transferred to NIST from other federal agencies includes $20 million for standards-related work on electronic medical records to assist in modernizing the health care system and $10 million for collaborative efforts to develop a comprehensive framework for a nationwide, fully interoperable smart grid for the U.S. electric power system.
"With this funding, we expect to create jobs and advance the U.S. science and technological infrastructure by building critically needed research facilities, expanding fellowships and research grants, and addressing important national priorities critical to our nation's future," said NIST Deputy Director Patrick D. Gallagher.
Department of Commerce agencies receiving one-time funds through the Act are required to submit a plan to Congress with specifics on how allocations will be spent within 60 days of the legislation being enacted. Once completed, NIST's plan will be available to the public, along with directions for applying for research fellowships, grants or construction funding at the Department of Commerce's and NIST Web sites.
"We take very seriously the requirements to ensure that the Recovery Act funding is used as effectively as possible for near-term economic benefits and longer-term economic growth," said Gallagher. "We will use these funds wisely and in a manner that ensures transparency and accountability."
Requests and applications for funding will be accepted when instructions and rules are posted for specific competitions.
Once completed, NIST's plan will be available to the public, along with directions for applying for research fellowships, grants or construction funding at the Department of Commerce, NIST and Recovery.gov Web sites.
About the Recovery Act
The American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 was signed into law by President Obama on Feb. 17, 2009. It is an unprecedented effort to jumpstart our economy, create or save millions of jobs, and put a down payment on addressing long-neglected challenges so our country can thrive in the 21st century. The Act is an extraordinary response to a crisis unlike any since the Great Depression, and includes measures to modernize our nation's infrastructure, enhance energy independence, expand educational opportunities, preserve and improve affordable health care, provide tax relief and protect those in greatest need.