Budget deal supports innovation, research

May 04, 2017

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.

The following tables provide a more detailed breakdown of innovation- and research-related federal funding. Comparisons to FY 2016 funding are made where readily available.

Appalachian Regional Commission

ARC received its largest appropriation in its history, including level funding for its POWER Plus Plan, targeting economic development strategies for coal-impacted communities.

Agency / Program FY 2017
($mm)
Change from FY 2016
($mm)
Total Funding 152.0 6.0
Broadband Deployment 10.0 0.0
POWER Plus Plan 50.0 0.0
Industrial Site and Workforce Development 16.0 0.0

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Delta Regional Authority

Agency / Program FY 2017
($mm)
Change from FY 2016
($mm)
Total Funding 25.0 0.0

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Department of Agriculture

A decreased buildings and facilities budget conceals that Congress increased spending for research at USDA and is providing additional funds for a variety of rural development programs.

Agency / Program FY 2017
($mm)
Change from FY 2016
($mm)
Economic Research Service 86.8 1.4
Agricultural Research Service 1,269.8 -86.1
Buildings & Facilities 99.6 -112.5
National Institute of Food & Agriculture    
Research & Education Activities 849.5 29.8
Integrated Activities 36.0 5.1
Rural Development 225.8 0.0
Distance Learning & Telemedicine (STEM) 0.5  
Distance Learning, Telemedicine & Broadband* 65.6 28.7
Community Facilities* 47.1 4.8
Business & Industry* 65.3 2.6
Intermediary Relending 9.9 0.2
Rural Cooperative Development Grants 26.6 4.5
Rural Energy for America* 0.4 -0.1
Rural Electrification & Telecommunications Loans 36.4 1.5
Forest Service: R&D 288.5 -2.5

* These items display funding levels for associated grants and initiatives. Broadband telecommunications loans are authorized for $27 million in loans; Community Facilities is authorized for $2.7 billion in direct and guaranteed loans; Business & Industry is authorized for $920 million in guaranteed loans; and Rural Energy for America Program is authorized for $7.6 million in loans.

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Department of Commerce

While most of the funding changes within Commerce are proportionally small, Congress demonstrated support for economic development, business data and scientific research in this budget. While Congress maintained or increased broadband spending at ARC and USDA, NTIA received a cut of nearly 20 percent.

Agency / Program FY 2017
($mm)
Change from FY 2016
($mm)
Economic Development Administration 276.0 15.0
Regional Innovation Strategies 17.0 2.0
National Institute of Standards & Technology 952.0 -12.0
Scientific & Technical Research & Services 690.0 0.0
Manufacturing Extension Partnership 130.0 0.0
National Network for Manufacturing Innovation 25.0 0.0
Construction of Research Facilities 109.0 -10.0
Minority Business Development Agency 34.0 2.0
National Telecommunications & Information Administration 32.0 -7.5
Patent & Trademark Office* 3,230.0 -42.0
Economic & Statistical Analysis 107.3 1.7
Bureau of the Census 1,470.0 100.0
International Trade Administration 495.0 2.0
National Oceanic & Atmospheric Administration 5,675.4 -90.2
Operations, Research & Facilities 3,367.9 62.1

* USPTO budget assumes fee collections equal to expenses for a net cost of $0 to the federal budget.

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Department of Defense

Defense spending increased by more than $27 billion over FY 2016. With the exception of Navy R&D, these gains carried through to the department’s research budget. Special funding (i.e. outside of the budgetary cap) for the Global War on Terrorism provides more than $400 million in additional R&D spending authority.

Agency / Program FY 2017
($mm)
Change from FY 2016
($mm)
Cyberspace Activities 6,733.7 992.0
Army R&D, Test & Evaluation 171.4 86.3
Navy R&D, Test & Evaluation 91.1 25.5
Air Force R&D, Test & Evaluation 356.9 121.4
Defense-Wide R&D, Test & Evaluation 679.7 21.0
Army R&D, Test & Evaluation 8,333.0 767.6
University Research Initiatives 69.2  
University & Industry Research Centers 112.3  
Applied Research 1,220.3  
Engineering & Manufacturing Development 2,248.7  
Navy R&D, Test & Evaluation 17,214.5 -903.1
University Research Initiatives 121.7  
Applied Research 980.3  
Engineering & Manufacturing Development 5,755.3  
Air Force R&D, Test & Evaluation 27,788.5 2,571.4
University Research Initiatives 150.0  
Applied Research 1,325.7  
Engineering & Manufacturing Development 3,964.9  
Defense-Wide R&D, Test & Evaluation 18,778.6 82.6
University Strategic Partnership Research 35.4  
Historically Black Colleges & Universities 33.6  
Applied Research 1,769.9  
Engineering & Manufacturing Development 622.0  
SBIR/STTR 2.2  
Defense Health Program: R&D, Test & Evaluation 2,102.1 -19.8
Global War on Terrorism: R&D, Test & Evaluation 406.7 175.2

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Department of Education

Among agencies tracked by SSTI, Education received the most consistent cuts. In addition to the reduction noted below, no funding is provided for Mathematics & Science Partnerships, the Fund for the Improvement of Education, or Advanced Placement programs. The appropriations act also notes that the Department of Education devoted extra resources to unauthorized pay-for-success projects and directs the department to provide a detailed spending plan to the relevant House and Senate committees for national programs.

Agency / Program FY 2017
($mm)
Change from FY 2016
($mm)
Education Innovation & Research 100.0 -20.0
Institute of Education Sciences 605.3 12.7

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Department of Energy

Energy received modest increases to most of its science programs, including Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy. The greatest proportional gains are for electricity delivery and reliability, which include micro- and smartgrid research and implementation.

Agency / Program FY 2017
($mm)
Change from FY 2016
($mm)
Energy Efficiency & Renewable Energy 2,090.2 17.2
Synthetic Biology Foundry 20.0  
Algal Biofuels 30.0  
Hydrogen & Fuel Cell Technology Validation 18.0  
Solar Energy R&D 55.0  
National Wind Technology Center 30.0  
Conventional Hydropower 25.0  
Marine & Hydrokinetic Technology Research 59.0  
Geothermal Technologies 35.0  
Clean Energy Manufacturing Innovation Institutes (6) 84.0  
Manufacturing Demonstration Facility 20.0  
Energy-Water Desalination Hub 20.0  
Joint Additive Manufacturing Pilot 1.5  
Emerging Building Technologies 98.4  
Electricity Delivery & Energy Reliability 230.0 24.0
Nuclear Energy 1,016.6 30.4
Crosscutting Nuclear Technology Development 27.0  
National Science User Facilities 31.1  
SMR Licensing Technical Support 95.0  
Reactor Concepts R&D 40.0  
Fuel Cycle R&D 68.0  
Idaho National Lab Infrastructure 10.0  
Fossil Energy R&D 668.0 36.0
Advanced Storage R&D 28.0  
Cross Cutting Research: Coal Utilization 20.0  
Cross Cutting Research: Plant Optimization 21.5  
Cross Cutting Research: Water Management 9.8  
National Energy Technology Lab Coal R&D External Activities 15.0  
Office of Science 5,392.0 41.8
Argonne Leadership Computing Facility 80.0  
Oak Ridge Leadership Computing Facility 110.0  
National Energy Research Scientific Computing Center 92.1  
Computational Sciences Graduate Fellowship 10.0  
Experimental Program to Stimulate Competitive Research 15.0  
BioEnergy Research Centers (3) 75.0  
Advanced Research Projects Agency - Energy 306.0 15.0
Title 17 Innovative Technology Loan Guarantee* 7.0 -10.0

* The Title 17 Innovative Technology Loan Guarantee is also expected to collect $30 million through fees for a total program budget of $37 million.

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Department of Health & Human Services

On the back of the additional $352 million in budgetary authority provided for in the 21st Century CURES Act, Congress provided increases for most R&D-related elements of HHS, including every one of the National Institutes of Health.

Agency / Program FY 2017
($mm)
Change from FY 2016
($mm)
Food & Drug Administration* 2,771.2 41.6
Center for Food Safety & Applied Nutrition 311.0  
Center for Drug Evaluation & Research 356.0  
Center for Biologics Evaluation & Research 174.1  
Center for Veterinary Medicine 98.2  
Center for Devices & Radiological Health 246.3  
National Center for Toxicological Research 63.3  
Precision Medicine Initiative 2.5  
Pediatric Device Consortium Grants 6.0  
National Institutes of Health    
National Cancer Institute 5,389.3 174.6
National Health, Lung & Blood Institute 3,206.6 91.1
National Institute of Dental & Craniofacial Research 425.8 10.2
National Institute of Diabetes & Digestive & Kidney Disease 1,871.6 52.2
National Institute of Neurological Disorders & Stoke 1,783.7 87.5
National Institute of Allergy & Infectious Disease 4,906.6 276.7
National Institute of General Medical Services** 1,826.4 94.3
National Institute of Child Health & Human Development 1,380.3 40.5
National Eye Institute 732.6 16.7
National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences*** 714.3 20.6
National Institute of Aging 2,048.6 448.4
National Institute of Arthritis & Musculoskeletal & Skin Diseases 557.9 15.7
National Institute of Deafness & Other Communications Disorders 436.9 13.8
National Institute of Nursing Research 150.2 3.8
National Institute of Alcohol Abuse & Alcoholism 483.4 15.7
National Institute of Drug Abuse 1,090.9 13.7
National Institute of Mental Health 1,601.9 53.5
National Human Genome Institute 528.6 9.6
National Institute of Biomedical Imaging & Bioengineering 357.1 10.3
National Center for Complementary & Integrative Health 134.7 3.9
National Institute on Minority Health & Health Disparities 289.1 9.4
National Center for Advancing Translational Sciences 705.9 20.5
Innovation Account 352.0 0.0
Centers for Disease Control 6,348.9 22.8
Community Services Block Grant Programs    
Grants to States for Community Services 715.0 0.0
Economic Development 19.9 -10.0
Rural Community Facilities 7.5 1.0
Administration for Community Living    
University Centers of Excellence in Developmental Disabilities 38.6 0.0
National Institute of Disability, Independent Living & Rehabilitation Research 104.0 0.0
Assistive Technology 34.0 0.0
Biomedical Advanced R&D Authority 511.7 0.0

* FDA is also authorized to collect and allocate nearly $2 billion in user fees.
** Includes $18.5 million in level funding for the Science Education Partnership Awards, which connect biomedical researchers with K-12 teachers and their students.
*** Does not include an additional $77.3 million for this institute provided for with Interior and Environment funding.

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Department of Homeland Security

Agency / Program FY 2017
($mm)
Change from FY 2016
($mm)
National Protection and Programs Directorate 3,269.9 190.8
Cybersecurity R&D 2.0 0.0
Infrastructure Protection R&D 4.1 -0.3
Science & Technology Directorate 781.7 -5.2
Research, Development & Innovation 430.1 -4.7
University Programs 40.5 0.8

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Department of Housing & Urban Development

Agency / Program FY 2017
($mm)
Change from FY 2016
($mm)
Community Development Block Grants 3,000.0 200.0
Research and Technology 89.0 4.0

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Department of the Interior

Agency / Program FY 2017
($mm)
Change from FY 2016
($mm)
Bureau of Reclamation 1,155.9 36.9
R&D: Desalination & Water Purification 11.8  
Science & Technology 22.8  
Geological Survey 1,085.2 23.2
Water Availability and Use Science 45.1 3.0
Core Science Systems 116.1 4.5

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Department of Labor

Agency / Program FY 2017
($mm)
Change from FY 2016
($mm)
Employment & Training Administration    
Apprenticeship Grants 95.0 5.0
Adult Training 815.6 0.0
Dislocated Worker Assistance 860.0 0.0
Bureau of Labor Statistics 609.0 0.0
Veterans Employment & Training 279.0 7.9

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Department of Transportation

While the total amount of research dollars appropriated to transportation remain small, the department received proportionally strong gains for R&D, particularly for vehicle electronics.

Agency / Program FY 2017
($mm)
Change from FY 2016
($mm)
Transportation planning, R&D 12.0 3.5
Federal Aviation Administration    
Unmanned Aircraft Systems Research 20.0 2.7
NextGen Environmental Research 27.2  
Environment & Energy Research 16.0  
Advanced Materials/Structural Safety: Partnered R&D 2.0  
National Highway Traffic Safety Administration    
Vehicle Electronics & Emerging Technology 10.1 6.5
In-vehicle Alcohol Detection Device Research 5.5 0.0
Federal Railroad Administration: R&D 40.1 1.0

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Department of Treasury

Agency / Program FY 2017
($mm)
Change from FY 2016
($mm)
Community Development Financial Institutions Fund 248.0 14.5
Financial & Technical Assistance Grants 161.5  

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Environmental Protection Agency

Unlike many other agencies, EPA will receive a cuts to science funding, primarily in the National Priorities and Sustainable Communities funding lines.

Agency / Program FY 2017
($mm)
Change from FY 2016
($mm)
Science & Technology* 713.8 -20.8
Research: Air, Climate & Energy 91.9 0.0
Research: Chemical Safety & Sustainability 126.9 0.0
Research: National Priorities 4.1 -10.0
Research: Safe & Sustainable Water Resources 106.3 -1.2

* The appropriation includes a rescission of $7.4 million for a realized appropriation of $706.4 million. The budget also provides instruction to award $4.1 million of these funds outside of the Science to Achieve Results program in “as large an amount as is possible to achieve the most scientifically significant research.”

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National Aeronautics & Space Administration

Agency / Program FY 2017
($mm)
Change from FY 2016
($mm)
Science 5,764.9 175.5
Earth Science 1,921.0 0.0
Planetary Science 1,846.0 215.0
Education & Public Outreach 37.0 0.0
Space Technology 686.5 20.0
Additive Manufacturing 25.0  
Education 100.0 -15.0
Experimental Program to Stimulate Competitive Research 18.0  
Space Grant 40.0  
Minority University Research & Education 32.0  
STEM Education & Accountability 10.0  

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National Science Foundation

NSF received a small change in total funding and level funding for research. A new initiative will provide more than $120 million for new regional research facilities, and another new initiative will enable NSF to specifically support Hispanic Serving Institutions. STEM funding also fared well in the budget, with an additional $48 million across three programs.

Agency / Program FY 2017
($mm)
Change from FY 2016
($mm)
Total funding 7,472.2 8.7
Research & Related Activities 6,033.6 0.0
Experimental Program to Stimulate Competitive Research 160.0  
Major Research Equipment & Facilities Construction 209.0 8.7
Regional Class Research Vessels (3) 121.9 121.9
Education & Human Resources 880.0 0.0
I-Corps 30.0 0.0
Historically Black Colleges & Universities 35.0 0.0
STEM+C 51.9 16.5
Louis Stokes Alliance for Minority Population 46.0 0.0
Tribal Colleges & Universities 14.0 0.0
Advanced Informal STEM Learning 62.5 26.25
CyberCorps Scholarships for Service 55.0 5.0
Hispanic Serving Institution 15.0 15.0
National Science Board 4.4 0.0

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Office of Science & Technology Policy

Agency / Program FY 2017
($mm)
Change from FY 2016
($mm)
Total funding 5.6 0.0

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Small Business Administration

SBA’s Entrepreneurial Development Programs largely received level funding in 2017.

Agency / Program FY 2017
($mm)
Change from FY 2016
($mm)
Entrepreneurial Development Programs 245.1 14.0
Regional Innovation Clusters 5.0 -1.0
Growth Accelerators 1.0 0.0
Entrepreneurship Education 10.0 0.0
PRIME Technical Assistance 5.0 0.0
SCORE 10.5 0.0
Small Business Development Centers 125.0 8.0
Veterans Outreach 12.3 0.0
Women’s Business Centers 18.0 1.0
Business Loans Programs 157.1 1.0

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