July 24, 2015

From GRC Grantweek: Government-Wide Science and Technology FY 17 Priorities Announced

by Graeff, Frank J. 

In preparation for the FY 17 Federal Budget, the Obama Administration has released a memorandum to guide the requests of the nation's research and development agencies. The new document, Multi-Agency Science and Technology Priorities for the FY 2017 Budget, states the need for agencies to design budgets that focus on publishing federally funded scientific results, commercializing new technology, and address nine agency-wide research priorities, in addition to agency specific tasks. Although the memorandum does not list specific funding levels, it does give an insight into the top priorities of future federal research.

While recognizing that every agency has specific research areas relevant to their mission, the memorandum asks all agencies to balance those goals with "multi-agency research activities that cannot be addressed effectively by a single agency". The multi-agency priorities include 1) Global climate change; 2) Clean energy; 3) Earth observations; 4) Advanced manufacturing and industries of the future; 5) Innovation in life sciences, biology and neuroscience; 6) National and homeland security; 7) Information technology and high-performance computing; 8) Ocean and Arctic issues; and 9) R&D for informed policy-making and management. Agencies are asked to craft budgets that give proper consideration to these goals, including ensuring that Small Business Innovation Research and Small Business Technology Transfer awards and programs contribute to the above multi-agency priorities.

This memo comes at the beginning of the budget process. Federal agency managers will spend the next few months developing their FY 17 budget requests for submission to the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) for review. Budget managers have been previously warned that submissions should reflect a 5 percent reduction from the planning figure contained in the FY 16 request. OMB will comment on the FY 17 requests by late November, with the budget going to Congress in early February 2016.


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