FYI: The AIP Bulletin of Science Policy News

Senate FY 2011 NIST Appropriations Bill

Richard M. Jones
Number 83 - July 28, 2010  |  Search FYI  |   FYI Archives  |   Subscribe to FYI

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Senate appropriators have approved an FY 2011 funding bill that recommends a 13.0 percent for the National Institute of Standards and Technology. Under this legislation, the budget would increase from $856.6 million to $968.1 million.

The House Commerce, Justice, Science Appropriations Subcommittee has passed its version of this bill, although the report accompanying the legislation will not be released until the bill is approved by the full committee. The subcommittee has only released its recommendation for NIST’s total budget.

Selections from Senate Committee Report 111-229 that accompanies S.3636 follow:

NIST:

FY 2010 appropriation: $856.6 million
FY 2011 Administration request: $918.9 million
House subcommittee recommendation: $882.9 million, an increase of $26.3 million or 3.1 percent above this year.
Senate full committee recommendation: $968.1 million, an increase of $111.5 million or 13.0 percent above this year.

The NIST budget has several components:

Scientific and Technical Research and Services:

FY 2010 appropriation: $515.0 million
FY 2011 Administration request: $584.5 million
Senate full committee recommendation: $584.5 million, an increase of $69.5 million or 13.5 percent above this year.

The Senate committee report states:

“The Scientific and Technical Research account funds NIST Laboratories, which provide the measurement science and physical standards critical to supporting technology infrastructure for U.S. innovation. NIST is one of the science agencies supported by the America COMPETES Act of 2007 (Public Law 110–69), doubling funding for basic research over 10 years. The recommendation supports many of the administration’s new initiatives, increasing research funding by more than 13 percent over the 2010 fiscal year level.”

The report had extensive language on a new center, a selection of which follows:

“National Cybersecurity Center of Excellence. - The Committee is aware of investments being made to secure our Nation’s national and defense industrial base to the growing threat from cyber attacks. While a number of Federal agencies play a role in this important area of information assurance, the Committee notes that NIST, as the Nation’s standard setting entity, plays a critical role in this area because NIST is the only Federal lab whose mission is to collaborate with the private sector on standards. The Committee directs the Director of NIST to establish and operate a National Cybersecurity Center of Excellence [NCCOE] at the level of $10,000,000 from within funds provided in addition to $15,500,000 requested by the administration for Cybersecurity for Emerging Technologies and Threats. The NCCOE should be organized to support the full range of cybersecurity requirements of Federal agencies, State and local governments, academia, and the private sector. Its primary focus should be on technology transfer, research and development, an information clearinghouse, and certification of cyber solutions and systems.”

Industrial Technology Services:

FY 2010 appropriation: $194.6 million
FY 2011 Administration request: $209.6 million
Senate full committee recommendation: $199.6 million, an increase of $5.0 million or 2.6 percent above this year.

There is important explanatory report language regarding the Technology Innovation Program:

“The Committee’s recommendation provides $199,600,000 for Industrial Technology Services [ITS]. The recommendation is $5,000,000 above the fiscal year 2010 enacted level and $10,000,000 below the budget request. Supporting the Nation’s manufacturers, especially small businesses, is critical to keeping America innovative in a global marketplace.

“The Technology Innovation Program [TIP], created by the America COMPETES Act of 2007, is currently at point of transition. While the program provides a unique set of tools to promote technological innovation outside of the normal range of mission oriented government innovation programs. However, at its current and projected funding levels, the program is under resourced to stimulate widespread transformational technological innovation. The Committee therefore provides funding only to continue existing awards, and notes that NIST must make a decision about the future of the program that makes highest and best use of limited funding.”

Construction of Research Facilities:

FY 2010 appropriation: $147.0 million
FY 2011 Administration request: $124.8 million
Senate full committee recommendation: $156.7 million, an increase of $9.7 million or 6.6 percent above this year.

The Senate committee report states:

“The Committee directs NIST to provide quarterly reports on the status of all construction projects.

“The recommendation funds the highest priority safety, capacity, maintenance, and repair projects at NIST.

“JILA Expansion. - The Committee provides $2,000,000 for NIST to complete the JILA expansion.” (JILA is a joint institute of the University of Colorado at Boulder and NIST.)

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