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Agency R&D Totals
The composition by agency of the OMB totals for conduct of R&D and R&D facilities is shown in Table 7. Some agencies with R&D-related activities are excluded from the totals, including the congressional Office of Technology Assessment ($14.2 million) and the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy ($2.9 million). Also excluded are "off-budget" agencies such as the U.S. Postal Service, which is planning to conduct about $27.3 million of R&D in FY 1981. Table 7 does not include any of the funds to be expended through the proposed Energy Security Corporation intended to stimulate production of alternative fuels, a portion of which may go to support R&D activities. Also not included are $50 million in coal R&D for FY 1980 and a like amount for FY 1981 to be funded in connection with the windfall profits tax. Two other kinds of R&D support are also excluded from the table: tax savings to industry through special tax code provisions for R&D (estimated at $1.97 billion in 1981), and allowances for "Independent R&D" under some procurement and R&D contracts to private industry, particularly from the Department of Defense.
Table 7. Research and Development in the FY 1981 Budget by Agency
Table 7 shows changes from PY 1980 to 1981 for R&D by agency in current dollars. order to understand real trends in funding, it is necessary to take into account the effects of inflation, now assumed by the Administration to be running at 8-9%. Given that the economy has yet to make its long anticipated slowdown, however, both government and private economists are substantially more pessimistic about the inflation outlook now than they were even a few weeks ago, and this rate may well be higher.
Using the Administration's assumed inflation rate of 8-9%, the totals for both conduct of R&D and R&D facilities increase substantially in real terms. In conduct of R&D, the increase for DOD reflects the Administration's pledge to provide for real growth in defense in FY 1991. Among the major R&D agencies, NSF also receives a real increase, reflecting the President's long standing commitment to basic research funding. The very substantial Department of Labor increase represents social science R&D associated with the Administration's welfare reform proposals, scheduled to go into effect in 1982. Among the major agencies, the Department of the Interior suffers the most substantial real decrease in R&D funds, with a proposed increase in current dollars of only 2.28 over the FY 1980 budget. Large real increases are proposed for some of the agencies with smaller R&D budgets, including the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) and the Tennessee Valley Authority (TVA).
On the whole, given the overall budget climate, it would appear that R&D, including basic research, fares rather well in the Carter Administration's FY 1981 budget.
NATIONAL SCIENCE FOUNDATION FY 1981
Association of American Universities
$1.148 million; $154.15 million or 15.5% above the FY 1980 plan
+16.9% to $951.5 million; 13.9% increase in individual research project grants; sufficient to provide a 3 to 48 margin of real growth
Emphasis on physical sciences and engineering;
particularly in experimental com
puter science, mathematics, chemistry, microstructures, neurosciences, ecosystems and environmental research
Applied research: +25.4% to $93.4 million
New $14.25 million, 1-to-1 matching, program to begin rehabilitation of university research laboratories
Continued decline in support for major equipment such as accelerators, telescopes, ships and aircraft - $13.6 million, down from $22.8 million in FY 1979
Expansion of support for research equipment and instrumentation - $95.3 million, up from $78.3 million in FY 1979
$3 million for operating of 14 regional instrumentation centers; no new starts; intensive evaluation of the program
$20 million (+183.7%) for industry/university cooperative research
$18.2 million (+146.9%) for small business innovation (+$10 million) and industrial technology (+$2.6 million) to establish at least one university/ industry cooperative research center in "generic science".
$10 million to start 10-year ocean margin drilling program to be jointly funded by industry
Further adjustment to $4800 in stipends for graduate fellows and to $4500 for graduate trainees; no increase in new starts; cost of education allowances remain fixed at $3400
The National Science Foundation continues to lead the Administration's effort to provide stable, broad support for basic research. Using a 9% GNP deflator the Administration proposed a government-wide increase in basic research of 12%, sufficient to provide about 3% real growth. Total government obligations for basic research are estimated to increase 128. The proposed 17% increase for NSF basic research program compares favorably with comparable increases in other agencies: DOE 138, USDA 12%, DOD 20-258. Administration estimates for the period 1978-81 project 408, 9% real growth, increase in support for federally funded basic research.
As shown in the following table, federal support of basic research in certain fields declined during the period 1967-80. In response, the 1981 budget will pay particular attention to improving support for the physical sciences and mathematics.
Note: The GNP implicit price deflator was used for 1967 and an estimate of 9 percent (by OMB) used for 1980.
Source: National Science Foundation
The 1981 NSF budget provides for major increases in the programs of the three major basic research directorates: Mathematical and Physical Sciences +16.7%; Astronomical, Atmospheric, Earth and Ocean Sciences - +10.8%; Engineering and Applied Science +22.5 and Biological, Behavioral and Social Sciences - +9.38. The five programs of the Mathematical and Physical Sciences directorate are budgeted to increase from between 14.7% and 28.1%. Three of the four basic engineering sciences programs will increase between 14% and 28% and the Atmospheric, Earth and Ocean Sciences programs will increase between 10 and 14%. Of the Biological, Behavioral and Social Sciences programs, only. physiology, cellular and molecular biology will increase more than 10% (11.38); other programs are held at or below the projected 98 inflation factor.
Mathematical and Physical Sciences
The $37.8 million increase to $264.2 million will provide for increased support in mathematics, physics, chemistry and materials research. Total project support is estimated at $174.7 million. The 16.7% increase is an attempt to provide "significant real growth" in these disciplines. It reflects an evaluation that "overall federal support for research in the MPS disciplines has eroded to the point where adequate funding is no longer available to provide the most highly qualified investigators with the resources required to carry out their research in an optimum manner."
The National Science Foundation has a heavy, sometimes unique, responsibility for funding these disciplines. The NSF accounts for 90 - 95% of all federal support for core mathematics, 50 - 80% of support for basic research in computer science, from 25 95% of the support for the various subdisciplines of physics, from 45 - 50% of academic basic research in chemistry and 55% of all federal support for basic materials research in universities.
The budget stresses "augmented research project support for all disciplines including provision of modern research instrumentation." NSF seeks to provide "real growth in average award size in order to provide more adequate support, including that to young investigators, for graduate students, post-doctoral fellows, equipment, and materials and supplies." In addition, the budget meets "essential requirements" of national user facilities, which represent an effective, and often the only, mode for carrying our certain types of research.
Special emphasis is given to improved academic research in experimental computer science. Support for instrumentation and equipment for research projects, special equipment programs, university laboratories and major user facilities also is increased by $5.5 million to $42.4 million.
Astronomical, Atmospheric, Earth and Ocean Sciences
The construction of the Very Large Array (VLA) for radio astronomy has been completed and a $1.8 million increase has been provided for the first year of full operations. In addition, a new 25 meter diameter millimeter wave telescope will enter the detail design phase; construction is scheduled for FY 82-84 at an added cost of $27 million. Increases in atmospheric sciences include $4.3 million for expanded project support; an increase of $3.3 million, for the National Center for Atmospheric Research and an increase of $300,000 for the National Scientific Balloon facility. Project support for the Earth and Ocean Sciences will be increased. Support for instrumentation and equipment ($26.7 million) will include $6.6 million for major equipment, including one new research ship, and $20.1 million for equipment for research projects and national centers.
U.S. Antarctic Program
Over one half of the FY 1981 increase of $7.6 million will be absorbed by inflation. Forty percent of the operation support increase will be used to repair and maintain aircraft.
Ocean Drilling Programs
Ten million dollars will be matched by the petroleum industry to develop the ocean margin drilling project to a decision point on a ten-year effort. Biological, Behavioral and Social Sciences
About 50% of the $15.5 million increase will go to physiology, cellular and molecular biology. The $7.6 million increase in those programs will support studies of cellcell interactions, the procurement of instrumentation and development of new instrumentation; studies of membrane structure and research on macromolecules. Across BBSS programs, $16.1 million will be allocated to research instrumentation as part of research grants and to foster sharing of equipment.
Engineering and Applied Sciences
On July 1, 1979 NSF again reorganized its applied research arm. Engineering activities were combined with programs of the former Applied Science and Research Applications (ASRA) directorate. (ASRA was the successor of the controversial RANN program). Engineering and ASRA programs were combined to consolidate and strengthen engineering activities, enhance applied and problem-focused research and give attention to the key role of engineering in the transfer of science into technology. In FY 1981 about $15 million of the proposed $25 million increase for the eight EAS programs will be targeted on Small Business Innovation and Industrial Technology and on a "sharply focused effort in microstructures and computer engineering research." The $10.8 million increase for Small Business and Industrial Technology is to carry out the President's industrial innovation program announced last October 31.