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FY97 Budget Request Released

March 22, 1996

While Congress and the White House continue to try to resolve differences on the FY96 federal budget, the Clinton Administration has released its detailed budget proposal for FY97.

The FY97 budget proposal calls for increasing spending on R&D to $72.3 billion in FY97, up from $71.5 billion in FY96.

Programs of particular interest to the states by federal agency are:

Department of Commerce

Technology Administration. The FY97 budget proposal calls for $835.5 million for Technology Administration, which is led by Mary Good. Of that amount, $826 million is for the National Institute of Standards and Technology (see below).

The remaining funding will support the Office of the Under Secretary for Technology and the Office of Technology Policy, including $1 million for the State-Federal Cooperative Science and Technology Initiative. This funding will be used in part to provide support for the federal interagency working group established at the request of the President’s Science Advisor as a result of the State-Federal Technology Partnership Task Force.

National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST). The FY97 budget proposal is for $826 million, almost half of which is for the Advanced Technology Program (ATP) and the Manufacturing Extension Partnership (MEP).

The proposal calls for $345 million for the Advanced Technology Program, which would provide roughly $120 million in new awards and continue commitments for all current ATP projects. ATP has been under attack in the FY96 budget process with the House zeroing the program out.

The budget recommends $105 million for the Manufacturing Extension Partnership to support 75 extension centers nationwide which would complete MEP’s expansion to a national network. A competition planned for late FY96

will allow MEP to establish approximately 15 additional centers. The request would also permit MEP to assume funding for 15 extension centers it now manages as part of its network, but which were funded originally by the Technology Reinvestment Project (TRP). Through the continuing resolution, MEP is currently funded at $80 million for FY96.

Additional NIST funding would go for research at NIST laboratories, support for quality programs associated with the Malcolm Baldrige National Quality Award, and construction and renovation of facilities.

National Telecommunications and Information Administration (NTIA). National Information Infrastructure (NII) Grants Program provides support for demonstration projects to show how information technology can improve the delivery of educational, health, and other social services. The budget proposes $59 million for the program; up from an estimated $54 million for FY96. (See SSTI Digest for March 8, 1996 for more information).

National Science Foundation

The FY97 budget proposal calls for total agency spending of $3.3 billion, a 4.6% increase over the FY96 estimated total (like Commerce, NASA, and EPA, NSF does not have a final budget for FY96). About half of the request will provide support for research projects.

The budget proposal also calls for $209 million for centers, including funding for Science & Technology Centers, Engineering Research Centers, Industry/University Cooperative Research Centers, State Industry/University Cooperative Research Centers, and Materials Research Science & Engineering Centers.

While funding for Research Projects and Centers are growing slightly over FY95 actual expenditures, funding for Research Facilities is slated to decline from $742 million in FY95 to a requested $661 million in FY97. The decline is largely as a result of the elimination of the Academic Research Infrastructure program, which provided support for modernizing facilities, and decreased spending on the Gemini Observatories.

Department of Defense

Dual Use Applications Program takes the place of the Technology Reinvestment Project (TRP). Under the new program, DOD would solicit projects as government-industry partnerships, and select those that meet military needs. The budget proposes $250 million for the program.

Environmental Protection Agency

Environmental Technology Initiative (ETI) seeks to support and accelerate the development and use of innovative environmental technologies. Its goal is to advance environmental protection and to enhance the marketplace for U.S. environmental technologies. Funds are used for partnerships with other federal agencies, state and local government agencies, industry, universities, and nonprofit organizations. The budget proposes $72 million for ETI; the same amount the program received in FY95 and is estimated to receive in FY96.

federal budget