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FY 1999 Budget: S&T Highlights

February 06, 1998

On Monday, the Clinton Administration released its detailed budget proposal for FY99 that requests a 2.57% increase in research and development funding. The FY99 budget proposal calls for increasing spending on R&D to roughly $78.16 billion, up $1.96 billion from FY98.

The centerpiece of the President's R&D proposal is the 21st Century Research Fund for America. The $31 billion Fund provides for increases in most of the federal government's civilian research programs, which will grow at an overall rate of 8% in FY99, and climb by 32% over the next five years.

The following is an overview of the Clinton Administration's proposed spending for programs of interest to the science and technology community.

Department of Commerce

National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST).

The FY99 budget proposal is for $715 million, an increase of $42 million over FY98 appropriations of $673 million. Extramural programs would receive $367 million, including $260 million for the Advanced Technology Program (ATP) and $107 million for the Manufacturing Extension Partnership (MEP). The increase in ATP funding would allow the program to continue to support current projects, and to conduct a new general competition and several focused program competitions. The decrease in MEP funding reflects a lower federal share of the centers' operating costs since the federal share changes as the centers mature. Additional NIST funding would go for research at NIST laboratories, and support for quality programs associated with the Malcolm Baldrige National Quality Award.

National Telecommunications and Information Administration (NTIA)

. The budget proposes $22 million for the National Information Infrastructure (NII) Grant Program; up from an estimated $20 million for FY98. NII provides support for demonstration projects to show how information technology can improve the delivery of educational, health, and other social services.

Federal Research and Development Spending

(dollar amounts in millions)
Agency FY 1998

FY 1999


Defense 37,430 37,010 -1.12% Health & Hum Svcs 13,836 15,136 9.40% NASA 9,752 9,501 -2.57% Energy 6,477 7,174 10.76% NSF 2,607 2,893 10.97% Agriculture 1,559 1,552 -0.45% Commerce 1,079 1,080 0.09% Transportation 676 775 14.65% Interior 609 631 3.61% EPA 637 631 -0.94% Veterans Affairs 608 670 10.20% Other 928 1,106 19.18% TOTAL 76,198 78,159 2.57%

Office of the Undersecretary for Technology/Office of Technology Policy (US/OTP). The FY99 budget proposal is for $10 million, an increase of $1.5 million from the FY98 appropriation. Of the total increase, $1.4 million is for the Experimental Program to Stimulate Competitive Technology (EPSCoT). The proposed funding increase would allow US/OTP to increase the number of awards made under the program, and to help fund the personnel and infrastructure required to support the EPSCoT activity.

National Science Foundation

The FY99 budget proposal calls for total agency spending of $3.8 billion, a 10% increase over current year funding. The FY99 request provides more than $2.1 billion for investments in research project support across NSF's directorates. The increase would enable NSF to invest in nearly 20,000 research and education projects in science and engineering. This investment is part of the 21st Century Research Fund. FY99 support for centers is $224 million, an increase of $3 million over FY98. Funding for the Engineering Research Centers (ERC) will increase by $3 million to fund up to two new centers in the area of teaching and learning technology. The planned phase down of the first class of Science and Technology Centers (STC) will provide funds for a FY99 competition for up to 10 new centers. Funding for the Materials Research and Engineering Centers (MRS&EC) will increase by $4 million to contribute to support for up to four new centers. The State/Industry/University Cooperative Research Centers (S/IUCRCs) would be cut in half as part of a planned phase down. The funding will be "redirected to support research efforts aimed at strengthening university-industry-state partnerships," according to NSF briefing materials.

Selected Federal Cooperative

Technology Programs

(dollar amounts in millions of dollars)
Program FY 1998

FY 1999


ATP 193 260 34.72% MEP 114 107 -6.14% NII 20 22 10.00% DUAP/COSSI 120 158 31.67% ERC 53 56 5.66% MRS&EC 48 52 8.33% STC 57 52 -8.77% I/UCRC 4 5 25.00% SI/UCRC 4 2 -50.00%

ATP=Advanced Technology Program

MEP=Manufacturing Extension Partnership

NII=National Information Infrastructure

DUAP=Dual Use Applications Program

COSSI=Commercial Operations and Support Savings Initiative

ERC=Engineering Research Centers

MRS&EC=Materials Research Science&Engineering Centers

STC=Science and Technology Centers

I/UCRC=Industry/University Cooperative Research Centers

SI/UCRC=State Industry/University Cooperative Research Centers

Department of Health and Human Services

The 21st Century Research Fund greatly impacts the proposed FY99 Health and Human Services budget. The proposed 9.4% increase would raise the Department's budget to more than $15.1 billion. The budget includes the largest investment ever in the National Institutes of Health (NIH). For FY99, NIH funding would total $14.8 billion, a $1.15 billion increase over FY98. The increase would enable NIH to fund approximately one of every three research applications. The budget also includes a major investment in cancer research, increasing funding by 10% to $3.2 billion. Other initiatives include a new Prevention Research Program at the Centers for Disease Control which will focus on identifying interventions that prevent diseases. The budget proposes to fund this program at $25 million in FY99, its initial year. Also, funding for the Agency for Health Care Policy and Research (AHCPR), which focuses on research to move discoveries into the clinic, would increase by $25 million under the FY99 budget proposal.


The goal of the Administration's FY99 budget request is to continue to reduce the degree of budget cuts for the space agency. The proposed $13.5 billion budget is a 1.27% decrease, a smaller reduction than last year's budget. The slowdown in reductions is most apparent in the out-years where funding for the year 2000 is estimated to be $13.3 billion rather than the $11.6 billion forecast in the FY97 budget. NASA will also benefit from the 21st Century Research Fund which will add $700 million over five years to NASA's space science program.