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NIH considers limits on individual research funding; impacts examined

In Part 1 of this two-part series, SSTI examined NIH’s proposed changes that will place limits on individual researcher funding. In Part 2, impacts of the limits are explored.

In the May 18th Digest, proposed changes to the National Institutes of Health (NIH) grants funding process were highlighted. The changes – tilted the Grant Support Index (GSI) – would impose a general limit of three major grants per researcher. Since the article was published, the NIH’s director, Francis Collins, announced during a U.S. House appropriations subcommittee that NIH intends to proceed with the GSI proposal. In this second part of the series,SSTI reveals areas within the field of tech-based economic development that could see the benefits and/or the negative unintended consequences of these changes.

White House budget challenges science, innovation proponents

The president’s budget for FY 2018 would eliminate funding for numerous innovation programs, slash spending on R&D and technology transfer and limit education and training opportunities. The full budget proposal may well be “dead on arrival” in Congress, but this is not the same as Congress rejecting each budget proposal.

Highlights from the President's FY 2018 Budget Request: Dept. of Agriculture

The president’s FY 2018 request for discretionary budget authority to fund programs and operating expenses is $21.0 billion, approximately $4.8 billion below the 2017 estimate in discretionary program funding for the Department of Agriculture (USDA). This includes funding for Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants, and Children (WIC), Rural Development, Forest Service, food safety, research, and conservation activities. However, the budget does not include the USDA reorganization plan that was announced by Secretary Sonny Perdue on May 11, which proposes a change in status for Rural Development.

Highlights from the President's FY 2018 Budget Request: Dept. of Commerce

The Department of Commerce houses a variety of science- and innovation-relevant agencies, most of which receive substantial cuts in the administration’s FY 2018 budget. Collectively, Commerce would lose many of its initiatives targeted to entrepreneurs, most notably the Regional Innovation Strategies (RIS) program and the Manufacturing Extension Partnership (MEP).

Highlights from the President's FY 2018 Budget Request: Dept. of Defense

The FY 2018 budget request for the Department of Defense (DOD) would provide $574.5 billion in discretionary base funding. Research, Development, Test, and Evaluation (RDT&E) would receive a total $83.3 billion – an $11 billion (15.2 percent) increase. This includes $13.2 billion for Science and Technology, a $0.6 billion (4.8 percent) increase, which is comprised of Basic Research, Applied Research and Advanced Technology Development. DoD Basic Research would receive $2.2 billion ($0.2 billion; 4.8 percent increase), Applied Research $5 billion ($0.2 billion; 3.3 percent increase), and Advanced Technology Development $6 billion ($0.4 billion; 6.4 percent increase).

Highlights from the President's FY 2018 Budget Request: Dept. of Education

The president’s proposed FY 2018 budget would provide $976.9 million in total funding for Career and Technical Education (CTE) within the U.S. Department of Education, a $148.1 million (13.2 percent) decrease. National CTE programs would receive $27.4 million in the proposed budget, a $20 million (270.3 percent) increase. State grant-based CTE programs would receive $949.5 million in FY 2018, a $168.1 million (15 percent) decrease.

Highlights from the President's FY 2018 Budget Request: Dept. of Energy

The president’s FY 2018 budget request would provide $28.0 billion in total funding for the Department of Energy, a $2.7 billion (8.9 percent) decrease from the FY 2017 omnibus. Notably, the proposed budget would eliminate the ARPA-E program, which received $306 million as part of the FY 2017 omnibus. The proposed budget “refocuses the Department’s energy and science programs on early-stage research and development (R&D) at the national laboratories to advance American primacy in scientific and energy research in an efficient and cost effective manner,” according to the DOE.

Highlights from the President's FY 2018 Budget Request: Dept. of Health and Human Services

The administration’s FY 2018 budget request for the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) is $69.8 billion in discretionary spending, reflecting a $14.6 billion (17.3 percent) decrease from FY 2017 estimated funding levels. Discretionary spending accounts for approximately 7 percent of the total proposed HHS budget. Mandatory spending for programs like Medicare, Medicaid and the Children’s Health Insurance Program account for the balance. Total FY 2018 budget authority for HHS would be $1.1 trillion (0.03 percent increase over FY 2017 estimates).

Highlights from the President's FY 2018 Budget Request: Dept. of Homeland Security

The administration’s FY 2018 budget request for the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) is $44.1 billion, a $5.2 billion (10.5 percent) decrease in non-disaster, net discretionary funding, excluding disaster-relief funding. The proposed budget would include $975.8 million in new funding for “high-priority tactical infrastructure and border security technology improvements to provide a layered defense at the border and effective surveillance technology and equipment.”

Highlights from the President's FY 2018 Budget Request: Dept. of Housing and Urban Development

Notably, the president’s proposed FY 2018 budget would eliminate funding for Community Development Block Grants. These grants received $3.0 billion in the FY 2017 budget. The proposed FY 2018 budget would provide $85.0 million for research and technology at the Department of Housing and Urban Development, a $4.0 million (4.5 percent) decrease from FY 2017.

Highlights from the President's FY 2018 Budget Request: Dept. of the Interior

Interior includes several bureaus and offices that fund R&D and conduct tech transfer activities, all of which would receive less funding under the FY 2018 budget proposal. The majority of R&D funding within Interior is provided to the U.S. Geological Survey’s Surveys, Investigations and Research initiatives, which would be funded at $922.2 million in FY 2018, a decrease of $163.0 million (15.0 percent).

Highlights from the President's FY 2018 Budget Request: Dept. of Justice

The Department of Justice (DOJ) would receive $27.7 billion in FY 2018 discretionary funding under the president’s budget request, a $1.2 billion (4.2 percent) decrease.

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