On Thursday, March 9, the White House released the President’s budget outline for 2024, also known as the “skinny budget”. The outline contains general top line information about science and technology budgets including funding authorized by the CHIPS and Science Act. CHIPS and Science programs are set to receive $6.5 billion above FY 2023, a 26 percent increase under the President’s Plan but well short of the targets set in the CHIPS and Science legislation.
CHIPS and Science funding highlights include: $11.3 billion for NSF, $8.8 billion for DOE’s Office of Science, $1 billion for NIST, part of the Department of Commerce, and $4 billion for the Economic Development Administration (EDA), also part of Commerce.
The total for NSF includes $1.2 billion for activities under the new Technology, Innovation and Partnerships Directorate, including $300 million for new NSF Engines Regional Innovation Centers — a 43 percent increase.
More details are expected to be released on Monday, March 12 with the full version of the President’s FY 2024 Budget Plan.
The National Artificial Intelligence Research Resource (NAIRR) Task Force released its final report [pdf], a roadmap for standing up a national research infrastructure that would broaden access to the resources essential to artificial intelligence (AI) research and development.
While AI research and development (R&D) in the United States is advancing rapidly, opportunities to pursue cutting-edge AI research and new AI applications are often inaccessible to researchers beyond those at well-resourced companies, organizations, and academic institutions. A NAIRR would change that by providing AI researchers and students with significantly expanded access to computational resources, high-quality data, educational tools, and user support—fueling greater innovation and advancing AI that serves the public good.
Established by the National AI Initiative Act of 2020, the NAIRR Task Force is a federal advisory committee. Co-chaired by the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy (OSTP) and the National Science Foundation (NSF), the Task Force has equal representation from government, academia, and private organizations. Following its launch in June 2021, the Task Force embarked on a rigorous, open process that culminated in this final report. This process included 11 public meetings and two formal requests for information to gather public input.
The CHIPS and Science Act created several new initiatives within the Directorate for Technology, Innovation, and Partnerships that the National Science Foundation created early this year. This includes establishing priority technology focus areas and authorizing new programs supporting technology commercialization, regional innovation, and workforce development.
Arch Street is very pleased to announce that we are working with FYI Science Policy News to produce content for their regular bulletins on science and technology policy. FYI is the the editorially independent science policy news service from the American Institute of Physics and is considered the go-to source on science policy information and topical updates. Arch Street’s first bulletin onRegional Innovation Provisions in the CHIPS and Science Act is now live. Special thanks to Mitch Ambrose and Will Thomas of AIP for their encouragement and support.
The Air Force Research Laboratory (AFRL) and the Air Force Office of Scientific Research (AFoSR) is sponsoring a three-day workshop on advances in quantum information science (QIS). The workshop will be held at the Innovare Advancement Center in Rome, New York adjacent to the AFRL Information Directorate (Rome Laboratory). The event is at the unclassified level and registration is open to all. To register clickhere
The Regional Innovation Engines (NSF Engines) program is a new initiative of the U.S. National Science Foundation. The goal of NSF Engines is to catalyze innovation ecosystems across the United States to advance critical technologies, address societal challenges, nurture diverse talent, and promote economic growth and job creation. With the potential for each Engine to receive up to $160 million for up to 10+ years, the program supports the development of regional coalitions, spanning academia, industry, nonprofits, government, civil society, and communities of practice, to engage in use-inspired research, translation of research results to society, and workforce development. The NSF Engines seeks to harness the Nation’s geography of innovation, unleashing a new era of innovation and competitiveness for the U.S. For more detail see: https://beta.nsf.gov/funding/initiatives/regional-innovation-engines
What is the current state of science and engineering in the United States? How healthy is the U.S. STEM labor force? What is the level of U.S. investment in R&D across various sectors? How does the U.S. compare internationally in science and technology (S&T)? These are the types of questions addressed by the biennial report produced by the National Science Board — United States Science and Engineering Indicators — through the presentation of key quantitative measures of R&D, STEM education and workforce, and economic competitiveness.
On April 20, 2022 the Government-University-Industry Research Roundtable of the National Academy of Sciences, Engineering and Medicine will convene a webinar to discuss the 2022 Indicators report, which was released in January. The webinar will feature representatives of the NSB and the National Science Foundation who will discuss the report’s findings in relation to STEM education at all levels; the STEM workforce; U.S. and international research and development performance; U.S. competitiveness in high-technology industries; and invention, knowledge transfer, and innovation. The session will also include comments from Dr. France Córdova, former NSF Director and President of the Science Philanthropy Alliance, to discuss the Indicators data within the context of philanthropic contributions to science.
The session is free and open to the public but registration is required. To register click here.
The U.S. National Science Board has released their biennial report on the U.S. science and engineering (S&E) enterprise. The NSB Science & Engineering Indicators study is a key source of data on the status of U.S. R&D and STEM workforce investments and activities. The report analyzes the overall levels of investment in R&D at all levels (basic/applied/development) by all performers (academic/industry/non-profit/government) and source of funds (government/private/non-profit). It also compares and contrasts the performance of the U.S. with other countries.
Key findings include:
Global research and development (R&D) performance is concentrated in a few countries, with the United States performing the most (27% of global R&D in 2019), followed by China (22%), Japan (7%), Germany (6%), and South Korea (4%).
The global concentration of R&D performance continues to shift from the United States and Europe to countries in East-Southeast Asia and South Asia.
Many middle-income countries, such as China and India, are increasing science and engineering (S&E) publication, patenting activities, and knowledge- and technology-intensive (KTI) output, which has distributed science and technology (S&T) capabilities throughout the globe.
The proportion of total U.S. R&D funded by the U.S. government decreased from 31% in 2010 to an estimated 21% in 2019, even as the absolute amount of federally funded R&D increased. This translates into the weakening of the U.S. system of basic research which has long been a pillar of a strong U.S. S&E enterprise.
The U.S. science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) labor force represents 23% of the total U.S. labor force, involves workers at all educational levels, and includes higher proportions of men, Whites, Asians, and foreign-born workers than the proportions of these groups in the U.S. population.
Blacks and Hispanics are underrepresented among students earning S&E degrees and among STEM workers with at least a bachelor’s degree. However, their share of STEM workers without a bachelor’s degree is similar to their share in the U.S. workforce.
Disparities in K–12 STEM education and student performance across demographic and socioeconomic categories and geographic regions are challenges to the U.S. STEM education system, as is the affordability of higher education.
The United States awards the most S&E doctorates worldwide. Among S&E doctorate students in the United States, a large proportion are international and over half of the doctorate degrees in the fields of economics, computer sciences, engineering, and mathematics and statistics are awarded to international students.
This year the report marked significant changes to how it analyzes the science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) workforce. It combines two major component into total STEM workforce: (1) S&E and S&E-related workers with a bachelor’s or higher degree and (2) skilled technical workers (STW) without such a degree.
On Wednesday, March 17th at Noon, the DC Chapter of the Technology Transfer Society is sponsoring a briefing on the U.S. Government Accountability Office’s efforts to expand Congress’s capabilities in science and technology (S&T) analysis and assessment. Since the demise of the Office of Technology Assessment in the 1990’s, Congress has lacked robust in-house analytical capability to effectively analyze new scientific and technological advances. Rapid developments in S&T are transforming multiple sectors of society. Like all technological change, these developments bring both opportunities and the potential for unintended consequences. The ability of Congress to understand, evaluate, and prepare for such changes is critical for the United States to remain secure, innovative, and globally competitive.
In January 2019, GAO created the Science, Technology Assessment, and Analytics (STAA) team to build on and expand its decades-long work providing Congress with S&T analysis. STAA is a large interdisciplinary technical team that advises Congress, generates policy options, and informs legislation on topics in the computational sciences (such as artificial intelligence and advanced data analytics), physical sciences (such as sustainable chemistry and nuclear waste management), life sciences (such as epidemiology of emerging infectious diseases and biosurety of Select Agents), and engineering (such as IoT, 3D printing, and hypersonic systems).
Dr. Tim Persons and Dr. Karen Howard of GAO will discuss STAA’s history, organization, and its technology assessment portfolio.