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FYI Number 79: July 25, 2007

FY 2008 NIST Funding Bill Released by House Appropriators

The House Appropriations Committee has recommended a 15.0 percent increase in the FY 2008 budget for the National Institute of Standards and Technology. The committee fully funded the request for Scientific and Technical Research and Services, rejected (as did the Senate) the proposed termination of the Advanced Technology Program, and recommended $35 million in new funding for competitive grants for research science buildings at universities and non-profit science research organizations.

H.R. 3093 was written by the House Commerce, Justice, Science Appropriations Subcommittee that is chaired by Rep. Alan Mollohan (D-WV); the Ranking Member is Rep. Rodney Frelinghuysen (R-NJ).

The bill is accompanied by House Committee Report 110-240, from which the following selections are taken. See http://thomas.loc.gov for the full report language and http://www.aip.org/fyi/2007/072.html for a review of the Senate Committee Report language.

OVERALL NATIONAL INSTITUTE OF STANDARDS AND TECHNOLOGY:

The FY 2007 budget for NIST is $676.9 million.
The Bush Administration requested $640.7 million for FY 2008, a cut of 5.4 percent or $36.2 million.
The Senate Appropriations Committee recommended $863.0 million, an increase of 27.5 percent or $186.1 million..
The House Appropriations Committee recommended $778.2 million, an increase of 15.0 percent or $101.3 million.

SCIENTIFIC AND TECHNICAL RESEARCH AND SERVICES:

The FY 2007 budget for Scientific and Technical Research and Services (STRS) is $434.4 million.
The Bush Administration requested $500.1 million, an increase of 15.1 percent or $65.7 million.
The Senate Appropriations Committee recommended $502.1 million, an increase of 15.6 percent or $67.7 million.
The House Appropriations Committee recommended $500.5 million, which the report states is the same as the Administration's request.

The House Appropriations Committee report stated:

"The Committee is pleased that the budget request includes a number of items associated with the Innovation Agenda, and fully supports the proposed increases over the enacted budget in a range of activities including: nanotechnology measurements; innovation through quantum science; medical technology bio-imaging; measurements and standards for climate changes science; next generation materials; and other activities that will help advance innovation, economic competitiveness, and national goals such as public safety and environmental stewardship.

"The Committee commends NIST on its report, 'An Assessment of the United States Measurement System: Addressing Measurement Barriers to Accelerate Innovation,' which outlined significant measurement barriers to innovation that impact our Nation's global economic competitiveness. The Committee is pleased at the extent to which industry, universities, and other government agencies were involved in the development of the report. The Committee encourages NIST to continue its efforts to address the recommendations in the report including creating partnerships among public- and private-sector stakeholders to focus attention and action on the most significant measurement barriers to innovation, fostering strategic public-sector investments in measurement R&D to accelerate technological innovation, prioritizing measurements needs, and using the assessment in NIST's own strategic planning decisions."

INDUSTRIAL TECHNOLOGY SERVICES:

The FY 2007 budget for the Industrial Technology Services is $183.8 million.
The Bush Administration requested $46.3 million, a cut of 74.8 percent or $137.5 million.
The Senate Appropriations Committee recommended $210.0 million, an increase of 14.3 percent or $26.2 million.
The House Appropriations Committee recommended $201.8 million, an increase of 9.8 percent or $18.0 million.

The House Appropriations Committee report stated:

"The Committee recommendation includes $201,819,000 which is $155,487,000 above the request and $18,000,000 above fiscal year 2007. Of this amount, $93,062,000 is provided for the Advanced Technology Program (ATP) and $108,757,000 is provided for the Hollings Manufacturing Extension Partnerships (MEP) Program.

"The Committee notes that a significant reauthorization for the ATP program has passed the House of Representatives, which re-establishes the program as the Technology Innovation Program (TIP) and makes a number of changes to the eligibility criteria and goals of the program. The Committee intends to support the newly authorized TIP program should this authorization be enacted into law prior to or during fiscal year 2008. "

CONSTRUCTION OF RESEARCH FACILITIES:

The FY 2007 budget for Construction of Research Facilities is $58.7 million.
The Bush Administration requested $93.9 million, an increase of 60.0 percent or $35.2 million.
The Senate Appropriations Committee recommended $150.9 million, an increase of 157.1 percent or $92.2 million.
The House Appropriations Committee recommended $128.9 million, an increase of 119.6 percent or $70.2 million.

The House Appropriations Committee report stated:

"The Committee recommendation includes $128,865,000 for construction and major renovations of NIST campuses at Boulder, CO, and Gaithersburg, MD, and at other facilities which is $35,000,000 above the request, and $70,179,000 over fiscal year 2007.

"The Committee fully supports funding increases associated with the Innovation Agenda, including the Building 1 Extension, which will improve measurement science at the atomic scale, and the Center for Neutron Research (NCNR) expansion and reliability improvements, which will increase NIST's neutron research capacity by 30 percent, serving an additional 500 researchers each year.

"The Committee also provides $35,000,000 for competitive construction grants, for research science buildings. The research buildings should span all the applicable science, as they relate to the Department of Commerce. These grants shall be awarded to colleges, universities, and other non-profit science research organizations on a competitive basis. The Committee directs NIST, no later than 90 days after enactment of the Act, to report to the Committee the criteria it will use in reviewing and ranking grant proposals."

Richard M. Jones
Media and Government Relations Division
American Institute of Physics
fyi@aip.org
301-209-3095

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