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First Information: S&T Funding Provisions of the Economic Stimulus Bill

Richard M. Jones
Number 15 - February 12, 2009  |  Search FYI  |   FYI Archives  |   Subscribe to FYI

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House and Senate conferees have reached agreement on a compromise version of the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act. The first details about this $790 billion bill, which provides significant funding increases for science and technology programs, appear in a document from the Office of Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA). Direct quotations from this document appear below. FYI will report on the details of this agreement as they are released.

The Speaker’s “Fact Sheet,” characterized as a “Preliminary Overview,” explains that the conference agreement will “Restore science and innovation as the keys to new American-made technology, preventing and treating disease, and tackling urgent national challenges like climate change and dependence on foreign oil.”

Later, the statement provides the following:

“Transform our Economy with Science and Technology: To secure America's role as a world leader in a competitive global economy, we are renewing America's investments in basic research and development, in training students for an innovation economy, and in deploying new technologies into the marketplace. This will help businesses in every community succeed in a global economy.

“Investing in Scientific Research (More than $15 Billion)

“Provides $3 billion for the National Science Foundation, for basic research in fundamental science and engineering - which spurs discovery and innovation.

“Provides $1.6 billion for the Department of Energy's Office of Science, which funds research in such areas as climate science, biofuels, high-energy physics, nuclear physics and fusion energy sciences - areas crucial to our energy future.

“Provides $400 million for the Advanced Research Project Agency-Energy (ARPA-E) to support high-risk, high-payoff research into energy sources and energy efficiency in collaboration with industry.

“Provides $580 million for the National Institute of Standards and Technology, including the Technology Innovation Program and the Manufacturing Extension Partnership.

“Provides $8.5 billion for NIH, including expanding good jobs in biomedical research to study diseases such as Alzheimer's, Parkinson's, cancer, and heart disease.

“Provides $1 billion for NASA, including $400 million to put more scientists to work doing climate change research.

“Provides $1.5 billion for NIH to renovate university research facilities and help them compete for biomedical research grants.”

A separate section entitled “Clean, Efficient, American Energy” includes:

“Smart Grid/Advanced Battery Technology/Energy Efficiency

“Provides a total of $30 billion for such initiatives as a new, smart power grid, advanced battery technology, and energy efficiency measures, which will create nearly 500,000 jobs.

“Transforms the nation’s electricity systems through the Smart Grid Investment Program to modernize the electricity grid to make it more efficient and reliable.

“Supports U.S. development of advanced vehicle batteries and battery systems through loans and grants so that America can lead the world in transforming the way automobiles are powered.

“Helps state and local governments make investments in innovative best practices to achieve greater energy efficiency and reduce energy usage.

“Spurs energy efficiency and renewable energy R&D.”

The House and Senate are expected to vote on this bill in the very near future.

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