Obama budget has $148B for research

President Barack Obama’s proposed fiscal 2010 budget would spend $148 billion for scientific research and development across all federal agencies, his top science adviser told the House Science and Technology Committee.

That represents an increase of $555 million, or 0.4 percent, over the 2009 enacted amount, John Holdren, director of the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy, told the committee May 14.

That figure does not include the $21.5 billion for research funding in the recent economic stimulus law.

The Obama administration aims to increase R&D spending to 3 percent of the national gross domestic product, up from 2.6 percent currently.

Research priorities for fiscal 2010 are basic science at the National Science Foundation, National Institute of Standards and Technology, and the Energy Department's Office of Science; clean energy, biomedical, health, safety and security, Holdren said.

At a hearing, Holdren discussed plans for an independent review of U.S. human space flight activities conducted by a panel of experts led by Norman Augustine, former chief executive of Lockheed Martin Corp.

The science panel has been promoting legislation to increase research and development. On May 12, the House passed H.R. 2020, the Networking and Information Technology Research and Development Act of 2009, by a voice vote. The bill seeks to strengthen interagency planning and coordination for R&D across the federal government, including large-scale interdisciplinary research.

H.R. 2020 would also promote partnerships between the federal government, academia and industry to foster technology transfer, and creates a task force for cybersecurity R&D.

The legislation was endorsed by IBM, the Association for Computing Machinery, the Computing Research Association, Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers Inc., and the Society for Industrial and Applied Mathematics.

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