FYI: The AIP Bulletin of Science Policy News

Coalition for National Security Research Issues FY 2013 Funding Statement

Richard M. Jones
Number 56 - April 24, 2012  |  Search FYI  |   FYI Archives  |   Subscribe to FYI

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The Coalition for National Security Research, “a broadly-based coalition of industry, research universities, and associations united by a commitment to a strong Defense S&T base” has issued a FY 2013 funding statement.  The American Institute of Physics and two of its Member Societies, the American Physical Society and the Optical Society of America, are coalition members.

The coalition states:

“While we recognize the severe fiscal restraints facing our country and difficult spending decisions that must be made, we urge the Congress to prioritize defense research as it develops the FY 13 Defense appropriations and authorization bills. Specifically, CNSR urges Congress to provide at least $2.117 billion for the DoD 6.1 basic research account and the FY 12 level of funding for both the 6.2 applied research and 6.3 advanced technology development accounts.”

The Obama Administration requested $2,116.9 million, an increase of $4.5 million or 0.2 percent for the 6.1 basic research account over the current budget, and reduced funding for the 6.2 and 6.3 accounts. 

The full statement follows:

The Coalition for National Security Research (CNSR) applauds the strong recognition by the Department of Defense of the critical role Defense Science and Technology (S&T) plays in underpinning national security even during its period of transformation.  While we recognize the severe fiscal restraints facing our country and difficult spending decisions that must be made, we urge the Congress to prioritize defense research as it develops the FY 13 Defense appropriations and authorization bills. Specifically, CNSR urges Congress to provide at least $2.117 billion for the DoD 6.1 basic research account and the FY 12 level of funding for both the 6.2 applied research and 6.3 advanced technology development accounts. 

The threats facing our nation are complex, unconventional and constantly evolving.  The continued strength and superiority of our defense system is rooted in the ability to develop a sophisticated technological response, which flows directly from the DoD S&T pipeline.  Past investments in the Defense S&T program have yielded cutting edge technologies and innovations that have led to superiority on the battlefield, life-saving therapies for wounded soldiers, and better quality of life for civilians.  New sensor technologies help detect and neutralize threats from improvised explosive devices, and will play a large role as the need for remote monitoring and unmanned vehicles increase.  Battlefield medical protocols and prosthetics have been revolutionized.  Furthermore, technologies once created solely for military use, such as the Internet and GPS, are now widely used around the globe.  Companies specializing in these technologies often originated in university labs and have become economic drivers that provide thousands of high-quality jobs across the country.  These investments are critical to our national security and underpin our economic vitality.

The DoD S&T portfolio is the incubator for the next generation of defense technologies.  The 6.1 basic research accounts support the long-term scientific discovery that provides the foundational knowledge for new technologies.  The 6.2 applied research accounts refine discoveries by exploring and determining the operational parameters and practicality of the technology to military needs. The 6.3 advanced technology development accounts support the creation of larger-scale hardware and technology to be tested in realistic environments. 

In addition to the critical research accounts, CNSR also urges Congress to provide sufficient funding for DoD S&T programs that play an important role in cultivating the next generation of talented engineers and scientists.  This was a key recommendation and a common theme throughout the recent Defense Science Board report on defense basic research that was released in February 2012.  In addition to graduate research assistantships and postdoctoral fellowships that are supported by research grants, programs such as the National Defense Science and Engineering Graduate Fellowship Program and the National Defense Education Program – which includes the Science, Mathematics and Research for Transformation Scholarship, and the National Security Science and Engineering Faculty Fellowship Program – provide education and research opportunities that strengthen our nation’s scientific and technical workforce.

Finally, CNSR notes the important role the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) has played in funding high-risk research that has led to many of the extraordinary, historical technological advances of our day.  CNSR urges Congress to acknowledge the important role this agency plays in dealing with both near-term needs and the game-changing technologies of the future by supporting the proposed increases in the DARPA budget for 6.1 research.

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