Search Penny Hill Press

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Federal Research and Development Funding:FY2010

John F. Sargent Jr., Coordinator
Specialist in Science and Technology Policy

In his FY2010 budget request, President Obama sought $147.620 billion for R&D, a $555 million (0.4%) increase from the estimated FY2009 R&D funding level of $147.065 billion (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 brought 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. 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 to determine precise agency funding levels; estimated funding levels are provided for these agencies. 

Congress continues to 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. Six federal agencies received 95.1% of total federal R&D spending in the President's FY2010 request: the Department of Defense (54.0%), Department of Health and Human Services (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%). The President's FY2010 request included $30.884 billion for basic research; $28.139 billion for applied research; $84.054 billion for development; and $4.543 billion for R&D facilities and equipment. The FY2010 request included funding for three multiagency R&D initiatives: National Nanotechnology Initiative, $1.637 billion; Networking and Information Technology R&D program, $3.927 billion; and Climate Change Science Program, $2.026 billion. 

President Obama 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%). Congress has completed action on all twelve regular FY2010 appropriations bills The final bill, the Department of Defense Appropriations Act, 2010, was passed by Congress and signed into law on December 19, 2009. 

For the past four 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), the Omnibus Appropriations Act, 2009 (P.L. 111-8), and the Consolidated Appropriations Act, 2010 (P.L. 111-117). Completion of appropriations after the beginning of each fiscal year may cause agencies to delay or cancel some planned R&D and equipment acquisition.

Date of Report: December 24, 2009
Number of Pages: 61
Order Number: R40710
Price: $29.95

Document available electronically as a pdf file or in paper form.
To order, e-mail or call us at 301-253-0881.