The U.S. Department of Commerce today released details of the President's budget request for fiscal year 2016 for the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST). The total discretionary request for NIST is $1.1 billion, $255.8 million above the FY 2015 enacted level. The funding request highlights NIST's expertise in areas of economic importance such as advanced manufacturing, cybersecurity, disaster resilience and "smart cities."
"This budget request will support U.S. manufacturers both large and small, aid our communities in recovering from disasters, and improve the ways we connect to the world around us—from banking online to using technology to efficiently manage city resources," said Acting Under Secretary of Commerce for Standards and Technology and Acting NIST Director Willie May. "These funds will help NIST foster innovation that creates jobs and strengthens the U.S. economy."
The request includes $150 million in funding to support a National Network for Manufacturing Innovation that will accelerate development and adoption of cutting-edge manufacturing technologies for making new, globally competitive products. Six of these regional hubs have already been created to help strengthen the global competitiveness of existing U.S. manufacturers, spur new ventures and boost local and state economies.
The total FY 2016 budget request includes the following:
Scientific and Technical Research and Services (STRS), $755 million
The STRS request includes $79 million above FY 2015 enacted levels that will support NIST's laboratory programs and spur innovation in new technology areas with significant and growing importance to the economy. Programs with increased funding requests include:
- Advanced Communications (+$9 million; $22 million program total)
- Advanced Manufacturing (+$26.5 million**; $161 million program total)
- Cybersecurity (+$7 million)
- Disaster Resilience (+$10 million; $20 million program total)
- Smart Cities/Cyber-physical Systems (+$5 million***; $12 million program total)
- Quantum Information Science (+$5 million; $27 million program total)
- Ensuring a World-Class Neutron Research Facility (+$11 million; $58 million program total)
- Lab-to-Market/Technology Transfer (+$4 million; $10 million program total)
Industrial Technology Services (ITS), $306 million
The ITS request includes an increase of $168 million above FY 2015 enacted levels. These funds will strengthen the nation's manufacturing infrastructure by enabling the creation of NIST-funded manufacturing institutes and increasing the ability of the MEP network to serve U.S. manufacturers. The requested increase includes:
- National Network for Manufacturing Innovation (NNMI) (+$150 million program total)
- Hollings Manufacturing Extension Partnership (MEP) (+$9.7 million; $141 million program total)
- Advanced Manufacturing Technology Consortia (AMTech) (+$6.8 million; $15 million program total)
Construction of Research Facilities (CRF), $59 million
The CRF request includes an increase of $7.9 million to restore funding that was reduced in the FY 2015 appropriation and fund the next phase of planned multiyear critical renovations, including:
- Building 3 of the NIST Boulder, Colo., laboratories. A request of $3 million will provide for construction support for a major renovation of the building, to be awarded in FY 2015, to support existing and expanding Boulder research functions.
- Building 1 of the NIST Boulder, Colo., laboratories. A request of $12 million will support the Wing 5 project, including concept development, design documentation and initial relocation efforts.
As part of the National Wireless Initiative included in the American Jobs Act, NIST will receive $300 million through the Wireless Innovation (WIN) Fund to help develop cutting-edge wireless technologies for public safety users. The funds come from the FY 2015 sale of the use of certain frequencies of the electromagnetic spectrum for communications. NIST will use the funding to help industry and public safety organizations conduct research and develop new standards, technologies and applications to advance public safety communications in support of the initiative's efforts to build an interoperable nationwide broadband network for first responders.
As a non-regulatory agency of the U.S. Department of Commerce, NIST promotes U.S. innovation and industrial competitiveness by advancing measurement science, standards and technology in ways that enhance economic security and improve our quality of life. To learn more about NIST, visit www.nist.gov.
*Updated Feb. 4, 2015, to include all STRS initiatives.
**This figure was updated Feb. 9, 2015, to reflect $2.5 million in funding for Smart Cities/CPS that is manufacturing-oriented.
***This $5 million includes $2.5 million also counted in the $26.5 million increase for Advanced Manufacturing.