The FY 2015 Science and Technology R&D Budget
Science, Technology, and Innovation for Opportunity and Growth
The President’s fiscal year 2015 Budget proposes $135.4 billion for Federal research and development (R&D) activities, an increase of $1.7 billion or 1.2 percent over FY 2014 enacted levels. The 2015 R&D budget extends the Administration’s ongoing commitment to make wise, targeted investments in science and technology (S&T) in support of job creation, economic growth, and opportunity for all Americans. It builds on R&D’s proven record of turning ideas into realities, and of generating new technologies, products, and businesses that in many cases were barely imagined a few years earlier.
“The 2015 budget reflects this Administration’s clear-eyed recognition that our Nation’s standing as a global leader today is built largely on a foundation of science and technology,” said Dr. John P. Holdren, President Obama’s science and technology advisor and Director of the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy. “By continuing the Administration’s record of steady support for research and development across the full spectrum of scientific and technological domains—including such diverse priorities as biomedicine, advanced manufacturing, climate science, cybersecurity, natural resource management, space exploration, and national security—the Budget ensures that the United States will be an incubator of innovation and economic growth for many years to come.”
The Budget calls for $65.9 billion for non-defense R&D, up 0.7 percent or $477 million from the 2014 enacted level, and $69.5 billion for defense R&D, up $1.2 billion or 1.7 percent from the 2014 enacted level. (All comparisons are to FY 2014 enacted and are in current, not-adjustedfor-inflation dollars.¹) Basic and applied research investments (the “R” in “R&D”) total $64.7 billion, up $251 million or 0.4 percent from 2014. Investments in development (the “D” in “R&D”) total $68.0 billion, an increase of 2.3 percent over 2014.
Importantly, these critical investments in our Nation’s future fit within an overall 2015 Budget that falls within the caps of the deficit-reducing Budget Control Act of 2011 and the Bipartisan Budget Act of 2013. Already, the national deficit has fallen by more than half under President Obama—the most rapid deficit reduction as a share of the economy since the end of World War II. Promising to continue that trend, but also recognizing the additional boost that could be generated by enhanced investments in foundational elements of the Nation’s economy, the President’s Budget proposes a separate, fully-paid-for $56 billion Opportunity, Growth, and Security Initiative that includes $5.3 billion for R&D endeavors.
Some highlights of the 2015 Budget include:
- $30.2 billion for the National Institutes of Health (NIH), which supports high-quality, innovative, biomedical research at institutions across the United States to improve the health of the American people.
- $12.3 billion for R&D at the Department of Energy (DOE), to support such priorities as clean energy and advanced manufacturing, energy security, carbon pollution reduction and climate change mitigation, and modernization of America’s nuclear weapons stockpile and infrastructure—including $5.1 billion for DOE’s Office of Science.
- $11.6 billion for R&D at the National Aeronautics and Space Administration, to develop systems for human exploration of deep space; continue studies of our planet, the Sun, our solar system and the universe; continue development of the James Webb Space Telescope for launch in 2018; and continue to develop, in collaboration with the private sector, new U.S. capabilities for transporting human crews to the International Space Station.
- $7.3 billion for the National Science Foundation (NSF), the Nation’s primary source of support for academic research in most non-biomedical disciplines, integrating fundamental research and education across a broad spectrum of science and engineering domains.
- $2.4 billion for R&D at the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) to support research in such agriculturally important domains as climate resilience and advanced genetics.
- $1.2 billion for R&D at the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA), which focuses on biomedical topics of special relevance to wounded warriors and supports a robust program of clinical and translational research.
- $925 million for R&D at the Department of the Interior, including work relating to environmental and natural resource monitoring, energy permitting, ecosystem restoration and management, and Earth observations.
- $876 million for R&D at the Department of Homeland Security (DHS), to support work in cybersecurity, explosives detection, nuclear detection, and chemical/biological detection, and for the development of state-of-the-art solutions for first responders.
- $688 million for R&D at the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) in the Department of Commerce, to support critical satellite programs, Earth observations, ocean and coastal research, and NOAA's other core science and stewardship responsibilities.
- $680 million for the National Institute of Standards and Technology’s (NIST) intramural laboratories in the Department of Commerce, to support research that promotes U.S. innovation and industrial competitiveness by advancing measurement science, standards, and technology. The 2015 Budget also provides ongoing support for key interagency initiatives that coordinate investments in three cross-cutting areas of importance: 3
- $2.5 billion for the U.S. Global Change Research Program (USGCRP), which coordinates and integrates Federal research and applications to assist the Nation and the world in understanding, assessing, predicting, and responding to the human-induced and natural processes of global change and their related impacts and effects.
- $3.8 billion for the Networking and Information Technology Research and Development (NITRD) Program, which provides strategic planning for and coordination of agency research efforts in cybersecurity, high-end computing systems, advanced networking, software development, high-confidence systems, health IT, wireless spectrum sharing, cloud computing, and other information technologies.
- $1.5 billion for the National Nanotechnology Initiative (NNI), which supports R&D focused on materials, devices, and systems that exploit the unique physical, chemical, and biological properties that emerge in materials at the nanoscale (approximately 1 to 100 nanometers), including Signature Initiatives in such national priority areas as sustainable nanomanufacturing, solar energy, sustainable design of nanoengineered materials, nanoinformatics and modeling, nanoscale technology for sensors, and nanoelectronics,
The 2015 Budget also supports science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) education to ensure that our educational system is preparing students to become highly skilled workers and innovators prepared for challenging 21st-century careers:
- $2.9 billion for Federal investments in STEM education, an increase of 3.7 percent over 2014 funding levels.
Additional details about the 2015 R&D Budget can be found on fact sheets and other resources at http://obamawhitehouse.archives.gov/ostp/rdbudgets.
OSTP was created by Congress in 1976 to serve as a source of scientific and technological analysis and judgment for the President with respect to major policies, plans, and programs of the Federal government. For more information on OSTP, visit http://obamawhitehouse.archives.gov/ostp
¹For reference, the latest economic projections show inflation of 1.7 percent between 2014 and 2015 for the economy as a whole, using the GDP deflator.