• 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!

NSF Releases Final FY10 Budget Request

May 20, 2009

A full week after the Administration's budget request was released, NSF made available details on the foundation's $7.05 billion request. With the new information, SSTI is presenting below its summary regarding the NSF budget proposal's impact on programs of importance to state and regional TBED efforts. This profile, along with similar budget summaries of 17 other agencies, is available in an updated version of SSTI's Special Federal Budget Issue. The PDF document may be found at: http://www.ssti.org/Digest/2009/fy10budget.pdf.

National Science Foundation (NSF)
In the FY10 budget request, the Administration seeks $7.05 billion for NSF (8.5% increase above the FY09 enacted budget). Just over 81% of the request would be directed to research and related activities. These amounts are separate from the $3 billion NSF received in the Recovery Act.

In FY10, each research division in the NSF would be asked to set aside a minimum of $2 million ($92 million total) for high-risk, high-reward transformational research.

The NSF request for Major Research Equipment and Facilities Construction is $117.3 million, a decrease of $34.7 million (down 22.8%).

The FY10 budget contains requests for some initiatives crossing several NSF directorates including:

  • Networking and Information Technology R&D Program - $1.1 billion (10.6% increase) to coordinate networking and IT investments across agencies, especially in the areas of high-end computing research, human computer interaction, and large-scale networking projects;
  • National Nanotechnology Initiative - $423 million (6.5% increase) to lead research in nanotechnology. The Environmental, Health, and Safety area requested a $2 million increase to support decision analysis research;
  • Climate Change Science Program - $299.9 million (36.6% increase) towards basic research, comprehensive observations, integrative modeling, and development of products for decision makers on the topic of climate change. This multi-agency activity is coordinated through the National Science and Technology Council;
  • Faculty Career Development Program - $203.8 million (11.6% increase) to support junior faculty integrating education and research;
  • Climate Research Program - a new focus of the NSF with $197.3 million in proposed funding. This push builds upon the Climate Change Science Program and other NSF efforts for additional multidisciplinary research on climate research and modeling;
  • Cyber-Enabled Discovery and Innovation Initiative - $102.6 million (44.7% increase) to support the intersection of computational concepts, models, algorithms, and tools with multidisciplinary science and engineering research; and,
  • Science and Engineering Beyond Moore's Law - $46.7 million (198% increase) to push transformation research in computing power, and create partnerships with the private sector and the national laboratories to advance the field.

NSF Centers Programs
Funding for NSF's Centers Programs, supported by many tech-based economic development initiatives as well as the NSF, fosters interdisciplinary research. The FY10 budget request for these centers is $305.0 million (11.2% increase).

  • Material Research Science & Engineering Centers (MRSEC) - $66.0 million (3.6% decrease) to support multi-year multidisciplinary material research at academic institutions, with 27 to be supported in FY10;
  • Engineering Research Centers (ERC) - $63.2 million (18.0% increase) for partnerships involving academia, industry, and the NSF for the development of next-generation engineered systems. Three new centers are to be added in FY10, bringing the total to 16;
  • Science and Technology Centers (STC) - $57.9 million (6.2% decrease) to support partnerships involving academia, industry, government laboratories, and other public and private organizations to explore research problems that require interdisciplinary expertise. Up to five new STCs are intended to be funded in FY10, bringing the total to 17;
  • Nanoscale Science and Engineering Centers - $45.2 million (no change) for multidisciplinary research to advance the development of nanoscale technologies in electronics, medicine, materials, environmental science and other fields. Same as last year, 19 of these centers are to be funded;
  • Science of Learning Centers (SLC) - $25.8 million (106.4% increase) for multidisciplinary, multi-institutional centers to advance the understanding of learning and its societal implications;
  • Centers for Chemical Innovation (CCI) - $24.0 million (54.8% increase) to support research on strategic, transformative "big questions" in basic chemical research; and,
  • Centers for Analysis and Synthesis - $23.0 million (32.1% increase) to develop new tools and standards for management of biological information and meta-information, in addition to supporting data analysis capabilities across the biological sciences.

Engineering Directorate
The FY10 budget request for the Engineering Directorate is $764.5 million (10.3% increase), which represents about 45% of the total federal support for university-based, fundamental engineering research. Highlights include:

Integrated Activates
The FY10 proposed budget for the Experimental Program to Stimulate Competitive Research (EPSCoR) is $147.1 million (10.6% increase). EPSCoR promotes the development of eligible states' science and technology resources through partnerships involving a state's universities, industry, government and the federal R&D enterprise.

Education and Human Resources Directorate
The budget request for the EHR Directorate is $857.8 million (1.5% increase). Highlights include:

  • Graduate Research Fellowships - $122.0 million (6.0% increase) to support graduate students in the science, mathematics, and engineering disciplines. The funding would support 1,654 new fellowships in FY10, with the goal of tripling the number of new fellowships awarded annually by FY13;
  • Discovery Research K-12 - $108.5 million (no change) to enable significant advances in pre-K through 12 student and teacher learning of the STEM disciplines through the development, implementation, and study of resources, models, and technologies;
  • Integrative Graduate Education and Research Training (IGERT) - $68.9 million (9% increase) to prepare doctoral students to integrate education and research;
  • Advanced Technological Education (ATE) - $64.0 million (24% increase) to support partnerships between two-year colleges and employers to improve the education of science and engineering technicians, with the goal of reaching $100 million for this program in FY13;
  • The Math and Science Partnership (MSP) - $58.2 million (4.6% decrease) to improve student outcomes in math and science for students in grades K-12 by forming partnerships between teachers and their colleagues in higher education;
  • Robert Noyce Teacher Scholarship Program - $55.0 million (no change) to encourage talented STEM undergraduate students and postgraduate professionals to become K-12 mathematics and science teachers;
  • STEM Talent Expansion Program (STEP) - 32.5 million (10.4% increase) to increase the number of U.S. citizens and permanent residents receiving associate or baccalaureate degrees in established or emerging STEM fields. The increase will allow two additional centers to be established in FY10;
  • Center of Research Excellence in Science and Technology (CREST) - $30.5 million (no change) to fund centers with the goal of strengthening research and education in minority-serving institutions and increasing matriculation in STEM disciplines; and,
  • Climate Change Education Program - $10 million (no change) to increase public understanding and engagement of climate change issues, prepare a climate science professional workforce and influence STEM education policy.