The Obama Administration sent its FY 2016 budget request to Congress yesterday for the new fiscal year that starts on October 1. At briefings held throughout the Washington, D.C. metropolitan area senior agency officials reviewed key components of the S&T request. One of those sessions was an afternoon briefing featuring Office of Science and Technology Policy Director John Holdren and three senior administration officials.
More than twenty federal departments and agencies support research and development. A chapter on Research and Development in document prepared by the Office of Management and Budget, "Analytical Perspectives, Budget of the United States Government, Fiscal Year 2016" states that the Administration is seeking an increase of 5.5 percent for all federal R&D over this year, totaling $146 billion.
The National Science Foundation, Department of Energy Office of Science, and the laboratories of the National Institute of Standards and Technology were identified by OMB as “three key basic research agencies.” Total funding for these agencies would increase 5.3 percent or $0.7 billion over this year to $13.8 billion.
At yesterday’s briefing, Holdren spoke of President Obama’s commitment to R&D, declaring “the President . . . is thoroughly attuned to the important roles that science, technology, innovation and STEM education can and must play as our nation addresses the challenges and the opportunities ahead.” This support is demonstrated by the FY 2016 request for R&D, Holden saying it was treated “well” “in an era of very tough budget choices.” Among the programs Holdren briefly discussed were the DOE Office of Science, NASA, climate change, advanced manufacturing and STEM education. Other areas highlighted in the OMB chapter on R&D were clean energy, Earth observation, resource decision-making and environmental stewardship, innovations in life sciences, and defense R&D. Many federal agencies, Holdren said, “will see substantial increases” in their budgets if they are approved by Congress.
FYI will review the Administration’s request for select programs of the Department of Defense; DOE Office of Science; NASA; National Institute of Biomedical Imaging and Bioengineering; National Institute of Standards and Technology; National Nuclear Security Administration; National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration; National Science Foundation; U.S. Geological Survey; and STEM education in coming days. Information distributed at yesterday’s OSTP briefing is available here, as well as an archived webcast of that briefing (best viewed in Chrome).