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House budget increases innovation spending, including IAC priorities

August 06, 2020
By: Jason Rittenberg

The House has now passed 10 of the 12 annual appropriations bills for FY 2021. Within the total funding is support for key innovation priorities, including $35 million for EDA’s Build-to-Scale (i.e., Regional Innovation Strategies), $6 million for SBA’s innovation clusters program and $4 million for Federal and State Technology Partnerships (FAST). SSTI’s Innovation Advocacy Council had made expanding funding for each of these initiatives a priority for the year.

Science and innovation highlights within the House FY 2021 budget include the following:

  • Economic Development Administration –
    • Build-to-Scale – $35 million (+ $2 million from FY 2020)
    • STEM apprenticeships – $4.5 million (+ $2.5 million)
  • Small Business Administration –
    • Regional Innovation Clusters – $6 million (+ $1 million)
    • FAST – $4 million (+ $1 million)
    • Growth Accelerators Challenge – $2 million (no change)
  • National Institute of Standards & Technology –
    • Manufacturing Extension Partnership (MEP) – $153 million (+ $7 million)
    • Manufacturing USA centers – $17 million (+ $1 million)
  • National Science Foundation – $8.6 billion (+ $270 million)
  • Appalachian Regional Commission – $175 million (+ $10 million)
  • Advanced Research Project Agency—Energy (ARPA-E) – $685 million (+ $260 million, including $250 million in pandemic-related emergency appropriations)
  • National Institutes of Health – $47.0 billion (+ $5.5 billion, including $5 billion in pandemic-related emergency appropriations)

SSTI’s Innovation Advocacy Council spoke with many House offices earlier this year about expanding funding for Build-to-Scale, Regional Innovation Clusters and FAST. In recent years, the House’s original appropriations bills have often included funding at or below the current-year levels. The chamber’s decision to provide level or increased funding for these program is a clear statement of support for innovation economies. Help strengthen SSTI’s outreach for these initiatives by contacting Jason Rittenberg (rittenberg@ssti.org).

The House’s recent action is just one step in the appropriations process. The Senate has not revealed any of its FY 2021 funding bills at this time, and the House is not expected to pass the remaining two funding bills, for the Department of Homeland Security or the legislative branch, until Congress has agreed on final funding for the year. The final FY 2021 budget will likely be approved after the general election.

federal budget, innovation