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FY 2013 Budget Request Proposes Increases for National Science Foundation, other COMPETES Agencies

The Administration released the Fiscal Year (FY) 2013 budget request on February 13. For the second year in a row, non-defense discretionary spending stayed flat, making the increases proposed for science notable. Overall, the Administration proposes $140.8 billion for federal R&D, a 1.4% increase over FY 2012 with a focus on innovation and manufacturing, clean energy, and STEM education.

The three physical science agencies slated for a doubling of their budget in the America COMPETES Act would collectively see an increase of 4.4%. The National Institute of Standards and Technology labs would increase 14% to $708 million. The Department of Energy’s Office of Science would reach $5 billion, 2.6 percent over FY 2012. The National Science Foundation would receive $7.4 billion, an increase of 4.8 percent, with larger increases slated for the Research and Related Activities and Education and Human Resources accounts. The Geosciences Directorate request is $906.4 million (2.4% increase). Within the Directorate, the Division of Earth Sciences would see a 3.1 percent increase to $189.2 million; Atmospheric and Geospace Sciences would receive $264.4, a 2.1 % increase; Integrative Computing Education and Research would stay flat at $91.2 million, and Ocean Sciences would receive $362 million, a 2.9% increase.

Details on the NOAA and USGS request will be released later this week at budget briefings held by each agency.

The action now goes to Congress, where committees will hold hearings to examine the budget request. White House Office of Science and Technology Policy Director John Holdren will testify before the House Science, Space and Technology Committee this Friday at 9:30 am on the federal R&D portfolio. The hearing will be available as a webcast online at