National Science Foundation


This month, the National Science Foundation’s new Regional Innovation Engines program issued its first development grants and the Economic Development Administration opened its first call for applications to its new Regional Technology and Innovation Hubs program.

In a bipartisan letter, the leaders of the House Science Committee accused Leidos, the logistics contractor for the U.S. Antarctic Program, of presenting inaccurate information and failing to fully cooperate with a National Science Foundation investigation of pervasive sexual harassment and assault on the continent.

About half the $1 billion budget increase the National Science Foundation received for fiscal year 2023 is going to its new Technology, Innovation, and Partnerships Directorate. Much of the rest will support initiatives in STEM workforce development and emerging technologies, leaving discipline-specific divisions with relatively small increases.

Science agencies are releasing details of President Biden’s fiscal year 2024 budget request, which prioritizes research related to emerging technologies and climate change and includes a new emphasis on fusion energy.

Congress raised the National Science Foundation’s budget by 12% to $9.87 billion for fiscal year 2023, with a portion dedicated to implementing initiatives of the CHIPS and Science Act.

FYI presents its annual list of 10 science policy stories to watch in the year ahead.

The CHIPS and Science Act prescribes the mission of the Directorate for Technology, Innovation, and Partnerships that the National Science Foundation created early this year, establishing priority focus areas and authorizing new programs supporting technology commercialization, regional innovation, and workforce development.

A month into fiscal year 2023, federal science agencies are facing a budget situation more complicated than any they have encountered in recent memory. While some programs are busy handling an influx of money from special spending legislation, others face uncertainties surrounding stopgap funding and whether Congress will meet targets set out in the CHIPS and Science Act.

The CHIPS and Science Act authorizes a suite of new regional technology development initiatives, reflecting substantial congressional interest in expanding the geographical distribution of innovative activity in the U.S. Enhancing regional innovation will also be central to implementing the legislation’s semiconductor provisions, according to the Department of Commerce.

The National Science Foundation is taking steps to address sexual assault and harassment at the Antarctic research facilities it supports, including launching a new office to support victims. The problem was the subject of an expansive report the agency released to the public in August.