US R&D Infrastructure Funds
In March, the US Office of Science and Technology Policy (OSTP) issued a report on the budget authority for federal R&D-facilities construction and major capital equipment (R&D infrastructure) in President Obama’s fiscal year 2016 (FY16) budget. The report included actual FY14 and estimated FY15 budget authorities for R&D infrastructure, which is defined as support for the construction and renovation of R&D facilities and funding for capital equipment. Examples of capital equipment include detectors, research satellites, spectrometers and other movable equipment.
According to the report, FY14 budget authority for R&D facilities and major capital equipment totaled $2,620 million, 85% of which was for nondefense projects. In FY15, the estimated budget authority was $2,556 million, 90% of which was for nondefense spending.
To supplement information in IBO’s article on FY15 R&D budget authority (see page 1), the table below shows the approximate percentages of the total R&D budget authorities for R&D infrastructure for five agencies. The numbers are approximate because the R&D budget authorities were published by another source—the Congressional Research Service.
The FY15 percentage for the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) was not available because DHS funding had not been enacted in time for the FY16 proposed budget. The NIH and NIST are not included in the table because their R&D budget authorities were not provided in the CRS report.
According to the OSTP report, the NIH’s actual FY14 and estimated FY15 budget authorities for R&D infrastructure were $136 million and $137 million, respectively. The NIST’s FY14 and FY15 budget authorities for R&D infrastructure were $80 million and $74 million, respectively.