Innovation programs see increases in Senate appropriations bills

November 12, 2020
By: Jason Rittenberg

The Senate released its draft appropriations bills for FY 2021 this week. Priorities for SSTI’s Innovation Advocacy Council did well, with increases for Build to Scale ($38.5 million, + $5.5 million from FY 2020) and FAST ($5 million, + $2 million) and level funding for Regional Innovation Clusters ($5 million).

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

  • Economic Development Administration –
    • Build to Scale – $38.5 million (+ $5.5 million)
    • STEM apprenticeships – $2 million (no change)
  • Small Business Administration –
    • Regional Innovation Clusters – $5 million (no change)
    • FAST – $5 million (+ $2 million)
    • Growth Accelerators Challenge – $2 million (no change)
  • National Institute of Standards & Technology –
    • Manufacturing Extension Partnership (MEP) – $149.5 million (+ $3.5 million)
    • Manufacturing USA – $16 million (no change)
  • Defense Manufacturing Communities – $50 million (+ $45 million)
  • Rural Innovation Stronger Economy – $5 million (no change)
  • Appalachian Regional Commission – $180 million (+ $15 million)
  • National Science Foundation – $8.5 billion (+ $200 million)
  • National Institutes of Health – $43.7 billion (+ $2 billion)
  • Advanced Research Project Agency—Energy (ARPA-E) – $430 million (+ $5 million)

SSTI’s Innovation Advocacy Council has spoken with many Senate offices about the value of innovation programs this year, and the increases in these bills are a clear statement of support for technology-based economic development in Congress. To help strengthen SSTI’s outreach for science and innovation policy, contact Jason Rittenberg (rittenberg@ssti.org).

The Senate is not expected to hold committee actions on these bills and will instead use these drafts when the FY 2021 appropriations legislation moves to conference between the chambers. The House passed 10 of 12 appropriations bills earlier this year, as covered in the Digest. Current FY 2021 funding expires on Dec. 11, and the government will need to pass a new continuing resolution or full-year funding to continue operations.

fy21budget, federal budget