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FYI Number 21: February 15, 2002

FY 2003 Request for National Institute of Standards and Technology

The Bush Administration has submitted an FY 2003 request for the National Institute of Standards and Technology that calls for large increases in some programs, and large cuts in others. Total NIST funding would decline 15.2%, or $103.2 million, from $680.8 million to $577.5 million.

There are three major components of the NIST budget. Funding for Scientific & Technical Research & Services (STRS) would increase 23.5%, while the budget would fall 58.5% for Industrial Technology Services (ITS). The budget for Construction of Research Facilities would decline 14.3%.

NIST Laboratories in the STRS budget would see an increase of 23.5%, or $75.5 million. This increase would be applied for research in the following areas:

Homeland Security: Standards, Technology, and Practices for Buildings and Emergency Responders $2 million
Critical Information Technologies $2 million
Computer Security $1 million
Health Care $3 million
Nanotechnology $4 million
Neutron Science $6 million
Building Competence for Advanced Measurements Program $4.7 million
Advanced Measurement Laboratory (for equipment and fit-up) $35 million
Construction on NIST Boulder, CO campus $17.3 million

Also under the STRS program is the Baldridge National Quality Program, which would increase 11.7%, or $0.6 million, to $5.8 million.

The two programs in the other major NIST component, Industrial Technology Services, would be greatly reduced in funding:

The FY 2003 budget for the Adavanced Technology Program would decline 41.5%, or $76.6 million, from $184.5 million to $107.9 million. The NIST budget document says little about this funding level, stating that it will provide "funding for awards in FY 2003, as well as for ongoing projects selected in previous years. Reforms also will be implemented to improve the program." Later in the document, it states, "Commerce Secretary Don Evans has evaluated the ATP and has recommended to Congress a series of modifications that will stabilize the program."

The FY 2003 budget for the Manufacturing Extension Partnership would be cut by 87.9%, or $93.6 million, from $106.5 million to $12.9 million. The budget document declares that the "request would return the partnership to its original plan, which called for the phase out of federal monies to centers about six years of funding. Federal funding will continue to be provided to two centers that are less than six years old; the MEP will focus on providing a central coordination role."

Richard M. Jones
Media and Government Relations Division
American Institute of Physics
(301) 209-3095

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