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Senate Appropriations advances FY 2018 spending bills, would fund Regional Innovation at $21 million

Over the past week, the U.S. Senate Committee on Appropriations has passed bills to fund commerce and science, transportation, energy and water and agriculture. Regional Innovation Strategies would be funded at $21 million, an increase of $4 million over FY 2017. Other innovation proposals received mixed support, as the Senate cut $3.2 billion from commerce, justice and science funding and another $400 million from agriculture.

Highlights from the President's FY 2018 Budget Request: NASA

The Science Mission Directorate within the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) would receive $5.7 billion in the president’s proposed FY 2018 budget, a $53.1 million (0.9 percent) decrease from FY 2017.

Budget deal supports innovation, research

Congress has passed a budget for FY 2017 that largely continues support for federal innovation programs and R&D investments. Among the highlights are $17 million for Regional Innovation Strategies (a $2 million increase over FY 2016), level funding of $130 million for the Hollings Manufacturing Extension Partnership and $5 million for SBA’s clusters program. In reviewing dozens of line items, offices that had received significant cuts in the White House’s skinny budget appear to receive some of the largest funding increases (such as the Appalachian Regional Commission, Community Development Block Grant and ARPA-E). However, with the exception of multi-billion dollar increases for Department of Defense R&D, many increases are rather small in terms of overall dollars. This is, at least in part, a reflection of non-defense spending caps rising by only $40 million for FY 2017, limiting the availability of new funds. In this context, science and innovation gains are particularly impressive, with a five percent overall increase for federal R&D that particularly benefits NASA and NIH.

NASA Launches Space Race Competition, Other Efforts to Commercialize NASA Tech

NASA is accepting applications for the Space Race Competition – a startup accelerator challenge that allows startups to license patented NASA technologies without any up-front costs and no minimum fees for up to three years.

Public-Private Partnerships Redefining U.S. Space Industry

In response to declining appropriations and the termination of the Space Shuttle program, NASA has had to re-orient its approach to commercial partnerships. Over the past decade, NASA has turned to private partnerships to further the agency’s goals of space research and exploration.

White House Opens Climate Data, Launches Innovation Challenges

In his FY15 budget, President Obama proposed a sweeping, multi-agency push for new research and improved infrastructure to combat the effects of global climate change. Though the budget has not found much support in Congress, the administration has begun moving forward with other parts of the climate strategy, launching a Climate Data Initiative to make potentially valuable climate data available to entrepreneurs developing climate-related products. NASA and the National Oceanographic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) are launching an innovation challenge to encourage software and app developers to make use of the new open data resources.

Highlights from the President's FY15 NASA Budget Request

The president’s FY15 budget request for NASA totals $17.5 billion in discretionary funding and prioritizes research and development that has the potential to bolster long-term space exploration. Major priorities of the proposed budget include extending the life of the International Space Station to 2024 and institutionalizing partnerships with the commercial space industry.

NASA Transition Continues to Spur University, Industry Partnerships

The winding down of the space shuttle program in Florida’s Space Coast by the Obama administration in 2010 spurred a transition in NASA’s areas of focus, including an increased emphasis on commercializing technologies and industry partnerships. NASA recently announced several new initiatives with tech firms, universities, and state agencies geared toward investing in cutting-edge research and technology and developing an educated workforce.

U.S. House and Senate Subcommittees Consider FY13 Funding for Commerce, NASA, NSF

This week, both the U.S. House and the Senate Appropriations Subcommittees on Commerce, Justice, Science and related agencies (CJS) approved FY13 funding legislation supporting several key TBED agencies.

Summer of Innovation 2010 Launched by NASA

In support of President Obama's Educate to Innovate campaign, NASA launched a new STEM education initiative on June 10. NASA's Summer of Innovation provides thousands of middle school teachers and students the opportunity to participate in evidence-based summer learning programs in the math and sciences. These multi-week math and science-based pilot programs will occur through the summer at locations across the country.

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