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New Administration, Congress Aim to Boost Federal R&d


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The Obama administration and the U.S. Congress want to provide significant new funding for science and technology research and development. The America COMPETES Act, ratified in 2007, supported doubling the funding for basic research programs in nanotechnology, alternative energy, and supercomputing, but the funding never reached the levels stipulated by the legislation. U.S. government spending on physical sciences R&D has generally declined since the 1990s and President Obama has repeatedly urged a doubling of federal funding for basic research over 10 years.

The American Recovery and Reinvestment Act, currently before Congress, would provide $10 billion toward science facilities, research, and instrumentation. The National Science Foundation would receive $3 billion, including $2 billion for expanding employment opportunities in fundamental science and engineering. It also would receive $400 million to build major research facilities for cutting-edge science, $300 million for major research equipment for institutions of higher education and other scientists, $200 million to repair and modernize science and engineering facilities, and $100 million to improve science, math, and engineering education. The National Institutes of Standards and Technology would receive $300 million for competitive construction grants for research science buildings at colleges, universities, and other organizations and to coordinate research efforts between laboratories and national research facilities by setting interoperability standards. The Advanced Research Project Agency would receive $400 million of the Energy Department's $1.9 billion to support high-risk, high-payoff research into energy sources and energy efficiency.

From HPC Wire
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