The budget for the laboratories of the National Institute of Standards and Technology remain on a doubling track under the FY 2010 budget sent to Congress by the Obama Administration. In contrast to earlier years, the budget contains a request for the Technology Innovation Program, ending a multi year effort by the Bush Administration to terminate this program (formerly known as the Advanced Technology Program.)
The FY 2010 budget contains the following requests:
The FY 2009 total appropriation for NIST was $819.0 million.
The FY 2010 request is $846.1 million, an increase of $27.1 million or 3.3 percent.
There are three major components of the NIST budget: Scientific and Technical Research and Services, Industrial Technology Services, and Construction of Research Facilities:
Scientific and Technical Research and Services:
The FY 2009 appropriation was $472.0 million.
The FY 2010 request is $534.6 million, an increase of $62.6 million or 13.3 percent.
The document, “FY 2010 Budget in Brief” states: “The President’s FY 2010 Budget requests $651.5 million for NIST’s core laboratory research and facilities [see below], a net increase of $7.5 million over FY 2009 levels (excluding amounts provided in the Recovery Act), and $108.3 million over the FY 2010 base. In concert with the FY 2009 funding provided by the Recovery Act, the Budget sets NIST Labs on the path to doubling by FY 2016 (from 2006 levels).”
This document has a three-page list of “Highlights of Program Changes” in the laboratories’ FY 2010 activities in areas such as the health-care information infrastructure, an interoperable smart grid, medical imaging, solar energy and storage, and nanomaterials. See pages 116-118.
Industrial Technology Services:
The FY 2009 appropriation was $175.0 million.
The FY 2010 request is $194.6 million, an increase of $19.6 million or 11.2 percent.
Within Industrial Technology Services are two programs: the Technology Innovation Program and the Hollings Manufacturing Extension Partnership.
Technology Innovation Program:
The FY 2009 appropriation was $65.0 million.
The FY 2010 request is $69.9 million, an increase of $4.9 million or 7.5 percent.
The budget document states: “In FY 2010, TIP intends to hold a grant competition that funds one or more areas of identified critical national need (CNN). CNN areas under consideration for FY 2010 are civil infrastructure, advanced manufacturing, energy, health care, complex systems, and green chemistry.”
Manufacturing Extension Partnership:
The FY 2009 appropriation was $110.0 million.
The FY 2010 request is $124.7 million, an increase of $14.7 million or 13.4 percent.
The document states that the MEP funding request will allow it “to expand MEP services to address the growing national need to support U.S. manufacturing and create new green technology jobs. In FY 2010 MEP will focus on 1) increasing manufacturers’ adoption and application of renewable energy technologies and the development of new products, and 2) supporting energy efficient production and reducing manufacturers’ environmental impact and related costs by promoting the development of new, environmentally-focused materials, products and processes.”
Construction of Research Facilities:
The FY 2009 appropriation was $172.0 million.
The FY 2010 request is $116.9 million, a decline of $55.1 million or 32.0 percent.
Page 120 of the budget document describes planned construction activities at NIST’s Maryland and Colorado laboratories. Note that the FY 2009 appropriation contained $44 million for earmarked projects and $30 million for a new competitive grant program for non-NIST facilities.
Finally, NIST recently distributed a press release outlining how it will use the funding made available through the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act.