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White House OSTP Briefing on R&D and STEM Education in the 2013 Budget

February 13, 2012

We hope you got a chance to follow along on the webcast and our live tweets from the White House OSTP Briefing on R&D and STEM Education in the 2013 Budget at AAAS. There is a lot of news and information to report on how the administration plans to support STEM for FY 2013- probably too much information for one blog post. So we’re going to do a brief response here to the brief briefing from today. Then we’ll take a detailed look at individual proposals from various agencies during the rest of the week.  This will happen when we’re not doing #NASAtweetup, Social Media Week DC, and #DCscitweetup events- busy week!


John P. Holdren, Assistant to the President for Science and Technology and Director, White House Office of Science and Technology Policy (OSTP) opened up the briefing by first sharing that the President’s overall proposed budget for FY2013 will be $3.8 Trillion. Almost certainly, this proposal will be greatly debated in Congress. Of particular interest to STEMConnector™, is the amount of of federal funding included in the budget proposal for STEM programs, which Carl Wieman, Associate Director for Science at OSTP, estimated to be $3 Billion.


Moreover, the President’s FY 2013 Budget will include $140.8 Billion for Federal Research & Development, which is an increase of $2 Billion (or 1.4%) from FY 2012.  David Sandalow, Assistant Director for Policy and International Affairs at the Department of Energy; Subra Suresh, Director of the National Science Foundation; and Patrick D. Gallagher, Director of the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) and Under Secretary of Commerce for Standards and Technology, were introduced as representatives from the three leading science agencies for R&D Funding in this year’s budget.


We’ll get into details on each of the budget proposals from these agencies on the blog the rest of the week, but here are a few interesting takeaways from today’s briefing:

  • David Sandalow’s quote on DOE’s budget proposals, “We made tough choices to cut back in areas in order to invest in strategic priorities.”
  • $95 Million for Wind Energy Projects- but not on-shore wind. DOE believes this area has seen successful commercialization, so DOE will focus on off-shore wind projects and the next generation of wind technology
  • For the first time since 2008, the US will regain the title from China for the leading nation in terms of total clean energy output
  • NSF’s will receive $7.373 Billion in the Budget, an increase of 4.8% or $340 Million
  • OSTP’s STEM priorities will be on the initiative for 1 million new STEM graduates in 10 years AND a new math initiative to bridge the skills gap between high school and college math abilities (a K-16 math initiative)
  • Similar to the SOTU, there was a lot of talk on Advanced Manufacturing and Cyber Security as priorities across all agencies
  • Advanced Manufacturing will receive $2.2 Billion (across all agencies)- NIST talked about how advanced manufacturing is the intersection between commercialization and research and development
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