• Become an SSTI Member

    As the most comprehensive resource available for those involved in technology-based economic development, SSTI offers the services that are needed to help build tech-based economies.  Learn more about membership...

  • Subscribe to the SSTI Weekly Digest

    Each week, the SSTI Weekly Digest delivers the latest breaking news and expert analysis of critical issues affecting the tech-based economic development community. Subscribe today!

FY98 Budget:S&T Highlights

February 12, 1997

Last Thursday, the Clinton Administration released its detailed budget proposal for FY98. The requested 2% rise in research and development funding reflects the constraints facing discretionary spending programs: the call to balance the budget while costs for entitlement programs and debt service are growing.

The FY98 budget proposal, which totals $1.69 trillion, calls for increasing spending on R&D to roughly $75.5 billion, up $1.6 billion from FY97.

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 FY98 budget proposal is for $692.5 million. Extramural programs would receive $399 million, including $275.6 million for the Advanced Technology Program (ATP) and $123.4 million for the Manufacturing Extension Partnership (MEP). Funding would support a new general ATP competition and increase the coverage of MEP centers. 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) Grant 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 $36 million for the program; up from an estimated $21.5 million for FY97.

Federal Research and Development Spending (dollar amounts in millions)

FY 1997


FY 1998




Defense 37,461 36,780 -1.82% Health & Hum Svcs 12,933 13,478 4.21% NASA 9,314 9,603 3.10% Energy 6,186 7,312 18.20% NSF 2,458 2,553 3.86% Agriculture 1,545 1,485 -3.88% Commerce 1,050 1,115 6.19% Interior 581 605 4.13% Transportation 639 754 18.00% EPA 504 555 10.12% Other 1,150 1,229 6.87% TOTAL 73,821 75,469 2.23%

Office of the Undersecretary for Technology/ Office of Technology Policy. The FY98 budget proposal is for $9.23 million, a decrease from the current $9.5 million level. The drop in funding reflects the scheduled phase-out of the U.S. - Israel Science and Technology Commission. New spending includes $1.7 million for the Experimental Program to Stimulate Competitive Technology (EPSCoT) and $350,000 to create international economic and technology development programs.

National Science Foundation

The FY98 budget proposal calls for total agency spending of $3.7 billion, an increase of $97 million over current year funding. NSF concedes that the proposed level of funding means that fewer researchers will get grants because the agency is committed to maintaining the buying power of its awards in light of increasing research costs. The agency is also seeking funding for several new initiatives including $10 million to support the multi-agency program Next Generation Internet, and $48 million for Multidisciplinary Approaches to Knowledge and Distributed Intelligence.

The budget proposal projects that funds realized from the planned phase-down of six Engineering Research Centers (ERC) would be used to initiate three to four new ERCs. In addition, up to three new Materials Research Science and Engineering Centers would be funded. NSF is also contemplating a new Science and Technology Center competition.


The goal of the Administration's FY98 budget request is to reduce the degree of budget cuts for the space agency. The proposed $13.5 billion budget is a 1.5% decrease, a significantly smaller reduction than projected in 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 $13.2 billion rather than the $11.6 billion forecast in FY97 budget.

Selected Federal Cooperative Technology Programs

(dollar amounts in millions of dollars)

FY 1997


FY 1998


Percent change ATP 225 275 22.22% MEP 95 123 29.47% NII 22 36 63.64% DUAP 181 225 24.31% ERC 52 53 1.92% MRS&EC 46 48 4.35% STC 62 56 -9.68% I/UCRC 4 4 0.00% SI/UCRC 3 3 0.00%

ATP=Advanced Technology Program

MEP=Manufacturing Extension Partnership

NII=National Information Infrastructure

DUAP=Dual Use Applications Program

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