FY 2016 Appropriations: NIST Budget Grows 11.6%

Share This

Publication date: 
21 December 2015

The annual spending law for FY 2016 increases spending at the National Institute of Standards and Technology by 11.6 percent over FY 2015 levels and provides direction on matters including research into disaster resilient buildings, advanced photonics, the Materials Genome Initiative, and quantum measurements

On Dec. 18, Congress passed, and the President signed into law, the final FY 2016 annual spending bill. As FYI reported last Wednesday, the law appropriates $1.15 trillion in discretionary spending obligations and finalizes funding levels for the nation’s major science agencies, offices and programs through the end of September 2016, including for the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST).

Congress’ guidance for NIST spending can be found on pages 6-7 of the law’s joint explanatory statement.


Agency / Account FY14 enacted FY15 enacted FY16 President's request FY16 enacted Change between FY15 and FY16
National Institute of Standards and Technology 850.0 863.9 1,119.7 964.0 11.6%
Scientific and Technical Research and Services 651.0 675.5 754.7 690.0 2.1%
Industrial Technology Services 143.0 138.1 306.0 155.0 12.2%
Construction of Research Facilities 56.0 50.3 59.0 119.0 136.6%
* Figures in millions of U.S dollars


As the table above shows, NIST is receiving an 11.6 percent increase in total spending between FY 2015 and FY 2016. Within that amount, Scientific and Technical Research and Services - which oversees advanced communications, advanced manufacturing, cybersecurity, disaster resilience, quantum information science, neutron research, and technology transfer programs - will see a more modest increase of 2.1 percent. Industrial Technology Services is receiving a 12.2 percent increase to strengthen the nation’s manufacturing infrastructure. The 11.6 percent increase for NIST exceeds the 5.2 percent increase in overall federal discretionary spending in FY 2016, an indication it is being favored in the budget process this year.

In other highlights for NIST, the guidance for the FY 2016 spending law:

  • Provides $60 million to begin the design and renovation of NIST’s “outdated and unsafe radiation physics infrastructure” in 2016;
  • Provides the President’s requested funding increases for Disaster Resilient Buildings and Infrastructure, strengthening cryptographic and privacy capabilities, the Materials Genome Initiative, and Quantum-Based Sensors and Measurements;
  • Via a Senate proposal, encourages NIST to propose the creation of new centers of excellence in future years, “including in such fields as regenerative medicine and advanced photonics”;
  • Via a House proposal, encourages NIST to “examine research, development, and workforce training to overcome the barriers to high volume additive manufacturing of metals”; and
  • Via a House proposal, encourages NIST to “partner with academic research institutions that have expertise in the effects of natural disasters to replicate high-force windstorm impacts on buildings and test large, integrated models of such impacts.