The Senate passed a landmark competitiveness policy package this week containing the Endless Frontier Act proposal for a multi-billion-dollar technology R&D initiative. Key members of the House are now crafting a compromise proposal they regard as better-suited to existing agency strengths.
The National Institute of Standards and Technology’s budget would rise by nearly 50% under President Biden’s fiscal year 2022 request, with across-the-board increases proposed for the agency’s research and advanced manufacturing programs.
The $1.9 trillion pandemic relief package that is advancing rapidly through Congress does not include the research recovery funds proposed in the bipartisan Research Investment to Spark the Economy Act.
Concerned about the eroding U.S. share of the global microelectronics market, last year Congress fast-tracked legislation focused on bolstering domestic semiconductor R&D and manufacturing. Chip companies are now pressing the Biden administration and Congress to robustly fund the initiatives authorized by the legislation.
The National Institute of Standards and Technology’s research budget is rising 5% to $788 million for fiscal year 2021, with much of the increase directed to quantum information science and artificial intelligence research. NIST's facilities construction and maintenance budget is cut by one-third to $80 million.
The House and Senate versions of the fiscal year 2021 National Defense Authorization Act propose numerous provisions aimed at increasing U.S. competitiveness in commercial technologies that have important national security applications, including microelectronics, artificial intelligence, 5G telecommunications, and advanced nuclear reactors.
A bipartisan group of lawmakers recently introduced legislation that would channel billions of dollars into manufacturing incentives and new R&D streams to bolster U.S. semiconductor manufacturing in the face of increasing international competition.
The Trump administration proposes to cut the National Institute of Standards and Technology’s budget by a third and reorient its research portfolio toward supporting “Industries of the Future,” including through a “grand challenge” initiative to build out quantum networking capabilities.