The Coalition for National Security Research (CNSR), “a broadly-based coalition of industry, research universities, and associations united by a commitment to a stronger Defense S&T base” has issued an FY 2016 funding statement recommending a higher level of funding for science and technology programs than that requested by the Obama Administration. The American Institute of Physics and two of its Member Societies, the American Physical Society and The Optical Society, are members of CNSR.
The current budget for the 6.1 Basic Research, 6.2 Applied Research and 6.3 Advanced Technology Development programs is $12,252.0 million. The Obama Administration requested $12,266.6 million, an increase of $14.6 million or 0.1 percent. CNSR recommends $12.8 billion.
Within this recommendation, CNSR recommends $2.4 billion for the 6.1 Basic Research Program. The Administration requested $2,089.0 million, a decrease of $188.8 million or 8.3 percent from this year’s budget.
House appropriators are starting to move on the development of funding bills. Two House subcommittees meet this week to mark up their FY 2016 appropriations bills. No schedule has been released for the House Appropriations Subcommittee on Defense.
The FY 2016 CNSR Funding Statement follows:
“The Defense Science and Technology (S&T) program supports the development of innovative technologies ultimately used by the warfighter to ensure U.S. military superiority over all other nations. Whether it is developing weapon systems, defensive capabilities or technologies used to heal the wounded, the Defense S&T program is how the U.S. maintains worldwide military technical supremacy. The Coalition for National Security Research (CNSR) strongly supports the role the Defense S&T program plays in developing the force of the future, and urges Congress to prioritize resources for this critical area by providing $12.8 billion for overall S&T accounts, and $2.4 billion for the 6.1 basic research accounts. This level of funding would also provide increased investments for the 6.2 applied and 6.3 advanced technology development programs.
“The FY 2016 level of funding provided in the Pentagon’s budget request continues to slow progress of the DoD S&T portfolio towards two important benchmarks: establishing the level of 6.1 basic research funding to equal 20 percent of the total S&T budget over a period of sustained and predictable growth, and establishing the level of S&T funding to equal 20 percent of the total Research, Development, Technology & Evaluation (RDT&E) budget. This threshold reflects the federal actions that were recommended in the National Academies’ 2007 report Rising Above the Gathering Storm and will serve to sustain robust funding for DOD basic research for the long term.
“CNSR also notes the important role DARPA has played in funding high-risk research that has led to many of the extraordinary, historical technological advances of our day. CNSR urges Congress to acknowledge the important role DARPA plays in dealing with both near-term needs and the game-changing technologies of the future by supporting the proposed request for DARPA of $2.97 billion.
“In addition to these critical S&T research accounts, CNSR urges Congress to provide sufficient funding for DoD S&T programs critical to cultivating the next generation of talented engineers and scientists who will contribute to the technological capabilities of the American military. In addition to graduate research assistantships and postdoctoral fellowships that are supported by research grants, programs such as the National Defense Science and Engineering Graduate Fellowship Program and the National Defense Education Program – which includes the Science, Mathematics and Research for Transformation Scholarship, and the National Security Science and Engineering Faculty Fellowship Program – provide education and research opportunities that strengthen our nation’s scientific and technical workforce.”