President Obama has requested $147.620 billion for R&D in FY2010, a $555 million (0.4%) increase from the estimated FY2009 R&D funding level of $147.065 million (not including FY2009 R&D funding provided under the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (P.L. 111- 5). According to the Obama Administration, preliminary allocations of R&D funding provided under P.L. 111-5 brings total FY2009 R&D funding to $165.400 billion. Unless otherwise noted in this report, comparisons of FY2009 and FY2010 R&D funding do not incorporate funding provided under P.L. 111-5.
Congress will play a central role in defining the nation's R&D priorities, especially with respect to two overarching issues: the extent to which the Federal R&D investment can grow in the context of increased pressure on discretionary spending and how available funding will be prioritized and allocated. A low or negative growth rate in the overall R&D investment may require movement of resources across disciplines, programs, or agencies to address priorities.
Under the President's request, six federal agencies would receive 95.1% of total federal R&D spending: the Department of Defense (54.0%), Department of Health and Human Services (largely the National Institutes of Health) (21.0%), National Aeronautics and Space Administration (7.7%), Department of Energy (7.3%), National Science Foundation (3.6%), and Department of Agriculture (1.5%). NASA would receive the largest dollar increase for R&D of any agency, $1.038 billion (10.0%) above its FY2009 funding level. The Department of Defense would receive the largest cut in R&D funding, $1.929 billion (-2.4%) below its FY2009 level.
The President's FY2010 request includes: $30.884 billion for basic research, up $1.003 billion (3.4%) from FY2009; $28.139 billion for applied research, down $627 million (-2.2%); $84.054 billion for development, up $167 million (0.2%); and $4.543 billion for R&D facilities and equipment, up $12 million (0.3%). The FY2010 request includes funding for three multiagency R&D initiatives: National Nanotechnology Initiative, $1.637 billion, down $17 million (-1.0%); Networking and Information Technology R&D program, $3.927 billion, up $44 million (1.1%); and Climate Change Science Program, $2.026 billion, up $46 million (2.3%).
President Obama has requested increases in the R&D budgets of the three agencies that were targeted for doubling in the America COMPETES Act and by President Bush as part of his American Competitiveness Initiative: the Department of Energy Office of Science (up 3.5%), the National Science Foundation (up 8.6%), and the Department of Commerce National Institute of Standards and Technology's core research and facilities (up 1.2%).
For the past three years, federal R&D funding and execution has been affected by mechanisms used to complete the annual appropriations process--the year-long continuing resolution for FY2007 (P.L. 110-5) and the combining of multiple regular appropriations bills into the Consolidated Appropriations Act, 2008 for FY2008 (P.L. 110-161), and the Omnibus Appropriations Act, 2009 (P.L. 111-8). Completion of appropriations after the beginning of each fiscal year may cause agencies to delay or cancel some planned R&D and equipment acquisition.
To the extent possible, the agency discussions in this report include an analysis of House and Senate actions with respect to R&D funding. In some cases, however, there is insufficient information to parse agency R&D funding from other spending.