FY11 President's budget looks positive for science and tech

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Peter Harsha of the excellent Policy Blog at the CRA started his budget coverage yesterday with the release of the FY11 presbud (you can download your own copy of the multi-thousand page budget).

Despite some early concerns in the science community over some dicey reported funding levels for some key science agencies, the President’s FY 2011 budget, released today, demonstrates a continued commitment to doubling the budgets of the National Science Foundation, Department of Energy’s Office of Science, and the National Institute of Standards and Technology. Here’s some relevant bits. We’ll have more as we plow through it and get briefed by the relevant agencies.

…Under the President’s plan, NSF would grow by 8 percent to $7.4 billion in FY 11. NSF’s research accounts would also grow by 8 percent, $455 million over FY 10.

The Department of Energy’s Office of Science would see a 4.6 percent increase to $5.1 billion in FY 11. DOE’s new ARPA-E would see $300 million in funding.

I’ll be doing my own reading on the budget request with an eye for computation. So far this administration has emphasized funding of science that might then use computers, but hasn’t provided a lot of new funding for large scale computing efforts that might stimulate new science. Melissa Norr’s analysis of the DOE details indicate some extra juice headed toward computing in the DOE, so maybe this is starting to change

Overall, the Office of Science, the area that does the majority of basic research and computing research, would receive a 4% increase over FY10, bringing the research budget to $5.12 billion. The Advanced Scientific Computing Research program does very well in the request with an increase of 8.1% for a total of $426 million. Basic energy sciences would get a 12% increase, a total of $1.835 billion.

Interestingly, the DOE provides its own analysis of the budget request. Wonder if the other agencies do that…links anyone?

Meanwhile House Committee on Science and Technology Chairman Bart Gordon (D-TN) had this to say

I applaud the president’s commitment to R&D. I’m pleased to see continued increases for the agencies in COMPETES: National Science Foundation, the National Institute of Standards and Technology, and the Department of Energy (DOE) Office of Science, as well as substantial funding for DOE’s Advanced Research Projects Agency for Energy. Half of the growth in our GDP since World War II has been related to the development and adoption of new technologies.

The Chairman’s committee is placing heavy emphasis on re-authorization of the America COMPETES Act before his retirement; COMPETES includes  the High-Performance Computing Research and Development Act.


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