The House and Senate Appropriations Committees have approved their versions of the FY 2014 Commerce, Justice, and Science Appropriations Bills. These bills provide funding to the National Science Foundation, NASA, and the National Institute of Standards and Technology.
The amount of money available to the committees differed, with the House committee operating with a significantly lower figure. The House Appropriations Committee has just released the final version of its report accompanying its bill.
This FYI will excerpt selections from the House committee report accompanying this bill regarding the National Institute of Standards and Technology on pages 15 - 18. Committee report language does not have the force of law, but agencies usually adhere to it closely. Conflicts in funding and policy between the House and Senate versions will be resolved in a conference committee. See FYI #124 for comparable Senate report language. Senate report numbers are used below.
Total National Institute of Standards and Technology:
The FY 2013 budget (not including the mandatory 5 percent reduction) is $807.1 million
The FY 2014 request is $928.3 million, an increase of $121.2 million or 15.0 percent
The Senate recommendation is $947.6 million, an increase of $140.5 million or 17.4 percent
The House recommendation is $784.4 million, a decrease of $22.7 million or 2.8 percent
There was no report language
Scientific and Technical Research and Services:
The FY 2013 budget (not including the mandatory 5 percent reduction) is $608.3 million
The FY 2014 request is $693.8 million, an increase of $85.5 million or 14.1 percent
The Senate recommendation is $703.0 million, an increase of $94.7 million or 15.6 percent
The House recommendation is $609.4 million, an increase of $1.1 million or 0.2 percent
In addition to language on cybersecurity research and development and standards, web services security, canine detection standards, Lyme disease, and textile research, the report stated:
“Advanced manufacturing. -- The Committee understands the critical importance of advanced manufacturing and how investments in research drive innovation, efficiencies, and domestic job growth. The recommendation, therefore, includes funding to expand NIST laboratory efforts to support measurement science and data infrastructure for the manufacture of emerging materials and emerging technologies; precision measurements for manufacturers; and the integration and use of smart manufacturing technologies.”
“Centers of Excellence. -- The recommendation includes up to $7,000,000 for the Centers of Excellence initiative. The Committee continues to support establishment of Centers focused on innovations in measurement science and new technology developments, including advanced communications, advanced manufacturing, biomanufacturing, cyberphysical systems, and quantitative biology. The Committee encourages NIST to consider the establishment of a Center on enhancing U.S. advanced manufacturing competitiveness and commercialization technologies in carbon nanomanufacturing.”
“Tornado resistant structures. -- While NIST has made great strides in developing and encouraging the adoption of standards to make buildings more fire, wind and earthquake resistant, the Committee is concerned that insufficient progress has been made in the development and adoption of cost-effective measures to make homes and businesses more disaster resilient in tornado-prone areas of the South, the West and Midwest. The Committee encourages NIST to expand its current research to develop tornado resistant buildings, including inexpensive safe house modular rooms that could be quickly adopted by the construction industry. “
Industrial Technology Services:
The FY 2013 budget (not including the mandatory 5 percent reduction) is $140.0 million
The FY 2014 request is $174.5 million, an increase of $34.5 million or 24.6 percent
The Senate recommendation is $184.5 million, an increase of $44.5 million or 31.8 percent
The House recommendation is $120.0 million, a decrease of $20.0 million or 14.3 percent
The report stated:
“The Committee reiterates its support for the MEP program which helps U.S. businesses streamline manufacturing techniques and increase efficiency and profits through training resources as well as specific project assistance to the U.S. domestic manufacturing industry. The Committee expects NIST to work with the IG to resolve issues contained in prior audits of various MEP centers.
“Supplier scouting initiative. -- The Committee encourages NIST to provide sufficient resources to MEP's supplier scouting initiative to maintain or expand current partnerships with Federal agencies.
“National Innovation Marketplace. -- Within the amount provided for the MEP program for fiscal year 2014, not less than $2,500,000 is for the National Innovation Marketplace (NIM), a web-based tool developed by NIST to help companies, communities, colleges and universities, inventors, and entrepreneurs accelerate supply chain connections and facilitate partnerships, helping to create jobs in the U.S. The Committee commends the Department for its efforts to increase participation in the NIM and notes that more than $2 billion in buying opportunities and more than $900 million in innovation business opportunities have been posted to the NIM.
“Furthermore, NIST has also used this endeavor to leverage the efforts of other Federal agencies. For example, MBDA staff and business clients can access, utilize, and contribute to the NIM, and NIST also works with MBDA through the Interagency Network of Enterprise Assistance Providers, in which staff meet monthly to exchange information and share best practices. The Committee encourages the Department to continue and expand upon its NIM-related efforts with other agencies and directs the Department to report to the Committee no later than 90 days after enactment of this Act on the status of overall efforts to expand the usage and capabilities of the NIM.”
Construction of Research Facilities:
The FY 2013 budget (not including the mandatory 5 percent reduction) is $58.8 million
The FY 2014 request is $60.0 million, an increase of $1.2 million or 2.0 percent
The Senate recommendation is $60.0 million, an increase of $1.2 million or 2.0 percent
The House recommendation is $55.0 million, a decrease of $3.8 million or 6.5 percent
There was no report language of general interest.