Computing Research Policy Blog


Posts categorized under: Funding

Research Funds Included in Emergency Legislation; Heads to President for Signing Into Law


On Wednesday, the House of Representatives passed the American Rescue Plan Act of 2021; the $1.9 trillion bill that is meant to provide additional relief to the country to address the impacts of the ongoing COVID pandemic. As the Senate approved the measure on Saturday, the bill now heads to President Biden for signing into law.

Artificial Intelligence is Critical to National Security, Defense, U.S. Economy, and Worthy of Significant New Investment, Congressionally-chartered Commission Argues in Final Report 


The National Security Commission on Artificial Intelligence, a congressionally-chartered committee charged with reviewing AI and related technologies and making recommendations to address U.S. national security and defense needs, today released its final report, endorsing significant new investments in AI research, strategies for building the AI workforce, and guidance for using AI in warfare while upholding U.S. democratic values.

NSF and NIST Likely to Receive Emergency Funding in Latest Pandemic Relief Legislation


In a piece written by Jeffrey Mervis at Science, the National Science Foundation (NSF) and the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) are expected to receive emergency funding as part of the COVID relief bill that is moving through Congress. Specifically, NSF would receive $650 million and NIST $150 million in a one-time budget allocations from the House Science, Space, and Technology Committee. Both agencies would be required to use the funds to help the nation, and specifically the science research community, recover from the impacts of the pandemic, as per the terms of the overall relief package. According to Mervis, the money for NSF is, “likely to be spent on more research on pandemic-related topics, as well as more support for educating the next generation of scientists and engineers,” while, “the funds for NIST…are expected to bolster its network of manufacturing research institutes.” While a far cry from the $26 billion that the higher education community is seeking in emergency relief, this money will be much needed help for the country’s research community. We’ll be watching the relief package as it makes its way through Congress; the expectation is that the bill will come up for a final vote some time in early-to-mid March. Please keep checking back for updates.

FY21 Update: Still Waiting for a Final Budget & Will Have to Wait Another Week (at least)


The calendar year of 2020 is quickly ending, but Congress hasn’t finished its work on the Fiscal Year 2021 (FY21) budget, which technically started back on October 1st. Our last update back in November was about the Senate publicly releasing their budget bills, with an eye to wrapping up the process on December 11th (AKA: today). Unfortunately, not much has happened since November.

FY21 Update: Senate Releases Numbers in Preparation for Budget Endgame in December


When last we left the Fiscal Year 2021 (FY21) budget process, we were worried about a potentially stalled continuing resolution at the end of September. Luckily, no one wanted to shut down the government just before the November Election; a CR was passed and signed into law. The CR created a new deadline to get a permanent budget into place, which is December 11th. Now with the election behind us, and hoping to jumpstart the process, yesterday the Senate Appropriations Committee released its slate of appropriations bills. Let’s get into the details.

FY21 Appropriations Update: A Continuing Resolution is Coming but Will it be Passed into Law?


Despite appearances, Congress has not forgotten about the Fiscal Year 2021 budget. The problem has been the ongoing disagreement on how to respond to the COVID pandemic. Since Congress hasn’t been able to get beyond that issue, it hasn’t been able to focus on other high-level topics. However, the approaching November election, and a desire to not have a government shutdown just before voters go to the polls, has necessitated a continuing resolution (or CR) to be considered.

FY21 Appropriations Update: House Numbers for the Dept of Energy are Better than the Administration’s but are Not Great


Continuing our review of the Fiscal Year 2021 (FY21) federal budget, we turn to the House Appropriations Committee’s Energy and Water bill. This bill contains the budgets for the Department of Energy’s Office of Science (DOE SC) and ARPA-E, as well as funding for the Exascale Computing R&D program, for which DOE is the lead federal agency. While the House’s numbers are significantly better than the 17% cut that the Administration requested in February, they represent a fairly small increase over last year’s budget. Let’s get into the details.

FY21 Appropriations Update: From a Certain Point of View, the House Numbers for the Defense Department are Good. But They’re Not Good.


Continuing our review of the Fiscal Year 2021 (FY21) federal budget, we turn to the House Appropriations Committee’s bill for the Department of Defense. DOD’s Science and Technology (DOD S&T) program is made up of three accounts: 6.1 (basic research), 6.2 (applied research), and 6.3 (advanced technology development). These accounts are themselves made up of individual accounts for each of the three services (Army, Navy, and Air Force), as well as a Defense Wide account. The Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) is a section under the Defense Wide account. Unfortunately, the numbers that the House settled on for these accounts are not good, but they are better than what the Administration requested.