President Obama’s fiscal year (FY) 2013 budget for the Department of Commerce’s National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) submitted this week to Congress proposes an appropriations funding level of $857 million, an increase of $106.2 million from FY 2012.
More than half of the proposed increased funding would be focused on advanced manufacturing research both at NIST laboratories and through a new industry-led consortia program, according to NIST.
“We want to work with the private sector to ensure U.S. manufacturers have the research support they need to make the best products in the world,” said Under Secretary of Commerce for Standards and Technology and NIST Director, Patrick Gallagher, in a prepared statement. “Through our laboratory programs and our standards development efforts, we can help American industry be agile, innovative and competitive.”
The total request of $857 million for NIST is divided into three appropriations:
Scientific and Technical Research and Services (STRS), $648 million:
The FY 2013 STRS request funds NIST”s laboratory programs among other initiatives. Work at NIST research laboratories, facilities and services programs is designed to provide U.S. industry, as well as the broader science and engineering communities, with measurements, data and technologies to further innovation and industrial competitiveness.
Funding requests in this area include +$45 million for Measurement Science for Advanced Manufacturing, which includes the following proposed NIST initiatives: Metrology Infrastructure and Standards to Support Biomanufacturing (+$10 million); Measurement Science and Standards to Support Nanomanufacturing (+$10 million); Measurement Science and Standards to Speed Development and Industrial Applications of Advanced Materials (+$10 million); Measurement Science and Standards to Support Smart Manufacturing (+$10 million); NIST Manufacturing Fellowships Program (+$5 million).
To read a summary of each of these proposed NIST projects, click here.
Industrial Technology Services (ITS), $149 million:
• Hollings Manufacturing Extension Partnership (MEP) – $128 million. This proposed budget represents a decrease of $443,000 from the FY 2012 enacted appropriations. The MEP is a federal-state-industry partnership that provides U.S. manufacturers with access to technologies, resources and industry experts. MEP’s 1,300 field staff work with small and mid-sized U.S. manufacturers to help them create and retain jobs, increase profits, and more, according to NIST. The funding decrease will not affect available MEP Center renewals in FY 2013, NIST says.
• Advanced Manufacturing Technology Consortia (AMTech) – $21 million. This new program will establish industry-led consortia to identify and prioritize research projects supporting long-term industrial research needs. AMTech creates the incentive for manufacturers to share financial and scientific resources with universities, state and local governments and non-profits. NIST says the proposed program is a critical component of the administration’s emphasis on advanced manufacturing as a way to accelerate innovation and create high-quality U.S. jobs.
Construction of Research Facilities (CRF), $60 million:
The CRF request includes funding for NIST’s routine maintenance and repair budget ($48.2 million), as well as a $11.8 million renovation of the Boulder Laboratories Building 1, which houses the majority of research and measurement laboratories on the NIST-Boulder campus.
As part of the administration”s efforts to revitalize manufacturing, the president’s budget proposes $1 billion in mandatory funding to establish a National Network for Manufacturing Innovation (NNMI). Through collaboration between NIST, the Department of Defense (DOD), the Department of Energy (EOE), and the National Science Foundation (NSF), the NNMI will aim to promote the development of manufacturing technologies with broad applications, NIST says.