FY 2012 National Institute of Standards and Technology Request

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Publication date: 
24 February 2011

Funding  for the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST), an agency of the  U.S. Department of Commerce, would increase by 16.9 percent or $144.5 million  from $856.6 million to $1,001.1 million compared to FY 2010 appropriated levels  under President Obama’s FY 2012 budget request to Congress. In his statement  introducing the budget request, NIST Director Patrick Gallagher said that "[t]he President's budget request for  NIST reflects the critical role that measurement science, standards and  directed technological investments play in ensuring and enhancing the  competitiveness of U.S. manufacturers and U.S. industry. Further investments in  research and development will also help to generate new innovations that will  create the jobs and high-tech industries of the future."

NIST’s  budget summary says that “[t]he NIST  budget request reinforces the Administration's commitment to science and  technology by doubling funding for NIST laboratories, one of several strategies  for maintaining U.S. technological leadership laid out in the President's Plan  for Science and Innovation and reaffirmed in the America COMPETES  Reauthorization Act of 2010 (P.L. 111-358).”

The  research programs of the National Institute of Standards and Technology, the  National Science Foundation, and the Department of Energy’s Office of Science  and have been put on a budget doubling track.   President Obama is continuing an initiative launched by President George  W. Bush in 2006 to double funding for these agencies to ensure U.S. leadership  in science and technology.   Recommendations to double this funding were made in the Rising Above the  Gathering Storm reports, and were the foundation for the original America  COMPETES Act.

There  are three major components of the NIST budget: Scientific and Technical  Research and Services, Industrial Technology Services, and Construction of  Research Facilities. Descriptions of NIST’s programs may be viewed here   and additional  budget information may be found here.

Scientific  and Technical Research and Services:

    Up  31.8 percent or $163.9 million from $515.0 million to $678.9 million.

This  account supports NIST’s laboratory programs and other activities.

Industrial  Technology Services:

    Up  22.1 percent or $43.0 million from $194.6 million to $237.6 million.

The  two biggest programs included in this request are:

Hollings  Manufacturing Extension Partnership (MEP): Up 14.4 percent or $17.9 million  from $124.7 million to $142.6 million Technology  Innovation Program (TIP): Up 7.3 percent or $5.1 million from $69.9 million to  $75 million

Construction  of Research Facilities:

    Down  42.4 percent or $62.4 million from $147.0 million to $84.6 million.

NIST’s  budget summary also adds this note:

“In  addition to the three appropriations outlined above, the Administration will be  submitting authorizing legislation for the auction of spectrum licenses to  collect up to an estimated $27 billion in revenue by 2021, of which $500  million is proposed for re-allocation to NIST between 2012-2016 for the Public  Safety Innovation Fund (PSIF). The PSIF is NIST's component of the Wireless  Innovation Fund as part of the President's Wireless Innovation and  Infrastructure Initiative (WI3). This initiative proposes to reallocate a total  of 500 megahertz of federal agency and commercial spectrum bands over the next  10 years to allow greater access to wireless broadband.”

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