The Obama administration’s plan to double
energy research over the next five years is not
likely to happen due to the Republican control
of the White House, Congress and the Senate.
Trump stated several times during the election
campaign his intent to renew the coal industry
and is likely to support research in that area
at the expense of renewable energy research
and the Paris climate change accords. Trump
voiced opposition several times during his
campaign to the Paris Climate Change Treaty,
which is also likely to be repealed.
NASAs FY2017 R&D budget is expected to be
$13.2 billion, about the same as was allocated
for FY2016. However, the program focus of the
R&D budget is now forecast to change, according to comments within the proposed Trump
administration. The proposed asteroid landing
program is likely to be canceled. A moon landing is also expected to be introduced. The Mars
landing program may be delayed or shifted to
the support of private Mars landing efforts.
NASA’s Space Launch System (SLS) is likely
to be continued to develop the infrastructure
needed for deep space programs.
NASA’s earth science programs, and especially its
climate change research programs, are likely to be scaled
back or eliminated in favor of more research programs
focused on deep space research. Trump has stated that
climate change research can more effectively be handled by
other government organizations such as the National Ocean
and Atmospheric Agency (NOAA) and the Environmental
Protection Agency (EPA).
Other Government Agencies
Outside of the top four R&D spending agencies noted, there
is expected to be a slight change of -$0.3 billion for the
seven agencies noted in the Table in FY2017 R&D authorizations from that authorized in FY2016. The National
Science Foundation (NSF), the Department of Agriculture
(USDA), the Department of Commerce/National Institutes
of Standards and Technology (NIST) and the Department
of Transportation (DOT) are each forecast to have -$0.1 billion reductions in their total R&D authorizations. The Veterans Administration (VA) will see a gain of $0.1 billion in
its R&D authorizations and the Department of the Interior
(DOI) and Department of Homeland Security (DHS) will
each have similar R&D funding authorizations in FY2017 to
those received in FY2016.
Nanotechnology is a cross-cutting technology that has
seen independent, non-partisan R&D authorizations since
FY2001. Created during the Clinton administration, the
National Nanotechnology Initiative (NNI) has seen a cumu-
lative R&D investment of more than $21 billion since then.
NNI provides R&D authorizations for more than 10 federal
agencies to conduct science, engineering and technology
R&D in nanotechnology areas outside of their individual
R&D budgets. The federal agencies with the largest NNI-based R&D investments include the NIH, NSF, DOE, DOD
and DOC/NIST. The FY2017 NNI proposal was increased
0.6% from its FY2016 R&D budget to $1.443 billion.
When queried by R&D Magazine, researchers and engineers consistently rank nanotechnology at the top of the list
for specific technologies which will have the most significant
effect on future emerging product development and research.
The NIH is consistently the agency with the largest NNI
R&D funding authorizations ($0.4 billion in FY2017), with
nanotechnology having a strong relationship in the study of
genomics, proteomics, stem cells, viruses and other microcellu-lar mechanisms. NNI R&D funding for the DOE (the second
largest NNI-funded agency) includes the combined budgets of
the DOE’s Office of Science, the Office of Energy Efficiency
and Renewable Energy, the Office of Fossil Energy and the
Advanced Research Projects Agency for Energy (ARPA-E).
The DOE saw a 9.5% increase ($31 million) in proposed NNI
R&D funding for FY 2017 from FY2016 levels.
The relatively small nature of the NNI investments has
not yet been mentioned by the Trump administration for
any potential changes.
National Nanotechnology Initiative
Agency FY2015 Actual FY2016 Estimated FY2017 Proposed
Consumer Prod Safety Com $2.0 $2.0 $4.0
Dept. of Homeland Security $28.4 $21.0 $1.5
Dept. of Commerce – NIST $83.6 $79.5 $81.8
Dept. of Defense $143.0 $133.8 $131.3
Dept. of Energy $312.5 $330.4 $361.7
Dept.ofTransportation $0.8 $1.5 $1.5
Environmental Protection Agency $15.1 $13.9 $15.3
Health & Human Services (total) $385.8 $405.0 $404.4
Food & Drug Admin. $10.8 $12.0 $11.4
National Institutes Health $364.0 $382.0 $382.0
National Inst Occup. Safety/Health $11.0 $11.0 $11.0
NASA $14.3 $11.0 $6.1
U.S. Dept of Agriculture (total) $21.1 $21.5 $21.0
Agricultural Research Service $3.0 $3.0 $3.0
ForestService $4.6 $4.5 $4.0
Natl Inst of Food and Agriculture $13.5 $14.0 $14.0
Total $1,496.3 $1,434.7 $1,443.4