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Congress proposes omnibus with $1.8 billion for CHIPS & Science Act and additional innovation funding

December 20, 2022
By: Jason Rittenberg

Federal innovation and entrepreneurship initiatives would receive substantial new funding under the text of the omnibus spending bill shared on the morning of Dec. 20 by the Senate Committee on Appropriations. The legislation, which totals $1.7 trillion and covers both regular FY 2023 appropriations and supplement funding, provides a total of $1.8 billion for programs authorized by this year’s CHIPS and Science Act and increases funding for multiple long-standing efforts — including each of the SSTI Innovation Advocacy Council’s priority programs. The legislation is expected to pass Congress this week, before the current funding agreement expires on Dec. 23.

The SSTI Innovation Advocacy Council asked Congress for additional funding in FY 2023 for Regional Technology and Innovation Hubs (following its authorization in the CHIPS and Science Act), Build to Scale, FAST and Regional Innovation Clusters. The omnibus bill includes new or increased funding for each of the Council’s priority programs.

A note on FY 2023 vs. supplemental funding: This year’s omnibus provides funding through both regular FY 2023 appropriations and through supplemental funding. In the short term, this distinction is not terribly important, as funds provided from both sources will be available for their associated programs. Each source of funds may provide its own instructions or timeline (for example, much of the FY 2023 funding expires on Sept. 30, 2023, while much of the supplemental funding is available until expended). In the long term, the distinction may have a differential impact on next year’s budget discussion: funding levels included in annual appropriations are often viewed as the starting point for next year’s appropriations bills, but the same is less often true for supplemental funds.

The full text of the Senate’s release runs more than 4,000 pages, with thousands more among integral explanatory statements for each appropriations subcommittee. Highlights from the funding bill for regional innovation economies are listed below.

Economic Development Administration

  • Regional Technology and Innovation Hubs – $500 million ($459 million from supplement | FY 2022: n/a). Authorized this year by the CHIPS and Science Act.
  • Build to Scale – $50 million (FY 2022: $45 million). Matches the program’s authorization level.
  • STEM Talent Challenge – $2.5 million (FY 2022: $2 million)
  • Recompete Pilot Program – $200 million ($159 million from supplement | FY 2022: n/a). Authorized this year by the CHIPS and Science Act.
  • Disaster funding – $500 million (all supplement). For Hurricanes Ian and Fiona and all other disasters declared in 2021 and 2022.
  • Remaining EDA programs – $295.5 million (FY 2022: $283 million). The agreement includes an additional $68 million for administration (FY 2022: $43.5 million).

National Institute of Standards and Technology

  • Manufacturing Extension Partnership – $188 million ($13 million from supplement | FY 2022: $158 million)
  • Manufacturing USA – $51 million ($14 million from supplement | FY 2022: $16.5 million)

National Science Foundation

  • Total Funding – $9.5 billion ($700 million from supplement | FY 2022: $8.8 billion). The supplemental funds are all provided specifically for NSF’s programs authorized by the CHIPS and Science Act, with $125 million for the STEM Education programs.

Small Business Administration

  • Federal and State Technology Partnership (FAST) – $10 million (FY 2022: $6 million)
  • Regional Innovation Clusters – $10 million (FY 2022: $8 million). The accompanying statement directs SBA to restore nonprofit eligibility for the program.
  • Growth Accelerator Fund Competition – $10 million (FY 2022: $3 million)

Department of Defense

  • Manufacturing Community Support Partnership – $30 million (FY 2022: $30 million)
  • Research, Development, Test and Evaluation – $140 billion (FY 2022: $119 billion). Includes a $100 million increase for basic research; the budget also streamlines prototyping and acceleration activities to create the Defense Innovation Acceleration, Rapid Prototyping Program and Rapid Defense Experimentation Research Fund as the primary three initiatives going forward.

Department of Agriculture

  • Agriculture Research Service salaries and expenses – $1.7 billion (FY 2022: $1.6 billion)
  • National Institute of Food and Agriculture – $1.7 billion (FY 2022: $1.6 billion)
  • Rural Innovation Stronger Economies – $2 million (FY 2022: $2 million)

Department of Energy

  • ARPA-E — $470 million (FY 2022: $450 million)
  • Clean Energy Demonstration – $89 million (FY 2022: $31 million)
  • Office of Technology Transitions – $22.1 million (FY 2022: $19.5 million). Includes at least $5 million for Innovation Clusters Program.
  • Science – $8.1 billion (FY 2022: $7.5 billion)

Department of Health and Human Services

  • ARPA-H — $1.5 billion (FY 2022: $1 billion). The accompanying statement directs HHS to locate ARPA-H away from the main NIH campus and to update the committee on its search criteria.
  • BARDA — $950 million (FY 2022: $745 million)
  • National Institutes of Health — $47.5 billion (FY 2022: $45.0 billion)

Additional agencies

  • Appalachian Regional Commission – $200 million (FY 2022: $195 million)
  • Minority Business Development Agency – $70 million (FY 2022: $55 million). Includes $3 million for Minority Serving Institutions Entrepreneurship Pilot.
  • Office of Science and Technology Policy – $8.0 million (FY 2022: $6.7 million)

SSTI may update this article as more information becomes available.

Update Oct. 13, 2023: NSF's budget updated to both decrease the total funds (reflecting NSF's FY 2024 budget justification, which did not include funds to be transferred to other accounts) and to increase the amount provided through the supplemental. NSF's supplemental funding included an additional $365 million but not assigned to any specific programs that was not captured in SSTI's initial accounting.

federal budget, fy23budget