The NIST budget request reinforces the administration's commitment to science and technology by doubling funding for NIST laboratories, one of several strategies for maintaining U.S. technological leadership laid out in the president's plan for science and innovation and reaffirmed in the America COMPETES Reauthorization Act of 2010.
"The president's budget request for NIST reflects the critical role that measurement science, standards and directed technological investments play in ensuring and enhancing the competitiveness of U.S. manufacturers and U.S. industry," said Under Secretary of Commerce for Standards and Technology and NIST Director Patrick Gallagher. "Further investments in research and development will also help to generate new innovations that will create the jobs and high-tech industries of the future."
The total request of $1.001 billion for NIST is divided into three appropriations: They include:
Scientific and Technical Research and Services (STRS), $678.9 million: The FY 2012 STRS request funds NIST's laboratory programs as well as a number of other important initiatives. NIST research laboratories, facilities and services programs work at the cutting edge of science to ensure that U.S. industry, as well as the broader science and engineering communities, has the measurements, data and technologies to continually further innovation and industrial competitiveness. Initiative funding requests include:
In addition to the three appropriations outlined above, the Administration will be submitting authorizing legislation for the auction of spectrum licenses to collect up to an estimated $27 billion in revenue by 2021, of which $500 million is proposed for re-allocation to NIST between 2012-2016 for the Public Safety Innovation Fund (PSIF). The PSIF is NIST's component of the Wireless Innovation Fund as part of the President's Wireless Innovation and Infrastructure Initiative (WI3). This initiative proposes to reallocate a total of 500 megahertz of federal agency and commercial spectrum bands over the next 10 years to allow greater access to wireless broadband.
In this proposed five-year effort, NIST will partner with industry and public safety organizations on research, development and demonstration activities aimed at new standards, technologies and applications that will advance public safety communications. The overriding objective is to build a broadband system that will allow first responders and other public-safety personnel anywhere in the nation to send and receive data, voice and other communications to save lives, prevent casualties and avert acts of terror.
As a non-regulatory agency of the U.S. Department of Commerce, NIST promotes U.S. innovation and industrial competitiveness by advancing measurement science, standards and technology in ways that enhance economic security and improve our quality of life.