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Senate Approves U.S. R&D Competitiveness Bill

The Senate has approved, by a 68-32 vote, the U.S. Innovation and Competition Act of 2021 (USICA). The package, aimed at countering China's scientific and economic aspirations, includes the Endless Frontiers Act (EFA).

The EFA has been discussed and altered since first introduced last Congress. The latest version would establish a Directorate for Technology and Innovation at the National Science Foundation. The legislation authorizes $120 billion over five years largely for the NSF ($81 billion), Department of Energy ($16.9 billion), National Aeronautics and Space Administration ($10 billion), Department of Commerce regional technology hubs ($8 billion) and existing manufacturing programs ($3.6 billion). Within the NSF authorization is $52 billion for existing basic research functions and $29 billion for the new tech directorate. The new directorate will focus on 10 key technology areas that include artificial intelligence, advanced computing, robotics and automation, natural disaster prevention or mitigation, advanced communications, biotechnology, data storage and management, advanced energy, advanced materials science, and innovation methods.

The bill also contains provisions to promote research security, including new penalties for failure to disclose outside compensation.

A companion bill must pass the House and then be reconciled with the Senate prior to final votes and approval by President Biden. The House and president are expected to support some version of the Senate's bill. 

What research groups are saying:

APLU Hails Passage of the U.S. Innovation and Competition Act

FSU-IU Op-ed on the Endless Frontiers Act


Jonathan Nurse

Full Biden FY22 Budget Request Released

The President's Budget Request (PBR) for Fiscal Year 2022 was released on May 28th. The release of a PBR typically marks the official start of the annual appropriations process on Capitol Hill. The step usually takes place on the first Monday in February. However, the PBR is often delayed in presidential transition years to allow a new administration time to set its spending priorities. The administration released a budget outline or "skinny budget" back in April.

The FY22 PBR generally reflects the Biden administration's plan to boost federal R&D programs. Outside of DOD, significant increases are requested in the PBR for federal research agencies and programs -see below.


  • NIH - The PBR includes $6.5 billion available through FY 2024 for a new Advanced Research Projects Agency for Health that will collaborate "with industry, academia, nonprofits, and other Federal agencies, using traditional and nontraditional mechanisms like Other Transaction Authority, to scale up projects with the most promise for improving health and saving lives..."
  • DOE - The PBR includes $200 million for FY 2022 that "will invest in climate-related innovations necessary to enable adaptation, increase resilience and achieve net zero non-energy emissions by 2050."
  • NSF - Includes the creation of a technology directorate, as called for in the American Jobs Plan, Endless Frontiers Act (Senate), and NSF For the Future Act (House).

What research groups are saying:

APLU Statement on President Biden’s Budget Proposal

AAMC Statement on President’s FY 2022 Budget Proposal

Research!America Statement on President Biden's FY22 Budget Proposal

Research Account
Dollars in Millions
FY20 FY21 FY20 – FY21 % Change FY22 PBR EST/TBD FY22 PBR – FY21 Enacted % Change EST/TBD FY22 Preliminary APLU Request* (>) FY22 APLU Request – FY21 Enacted % Change
Department of Defense, Science & Technology (6.1-6.3) 16,074 16,873 +4.97% 14,685 -12.97% 17,885 +6.00%
Department of Defense, S&T, Basic Research (6.1) 2,603 2,671 +2.61% 2,282 -14.56% 2,831 +5.99%
Department of Defense, DARPA 3,458 3,501 1.24% 3,528 +0.77% 3,712 +6.03%
ED, Institute of Education Sciences 623.5 642.5 +3.05% 737.5 14.79% 700 +8.95%
Energy, Office of Science 7,000 7,026 +0.37%  7,400  +5.32% 7,700 +9.59%
Energy, ARPA-E 425 427 +0.47% 500 +17.1% 500 +17.10%
EPA, Office of Science 716 729.3 +1.86% 829.9 +13.79% 773 +5.99%
National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA), Science Mission Directorate 7,139 7,301 +2.27% 7,931 +8.63% 9,000 +23.27%
NASA, Aeronautics Research Directorate 784 828.7 +5.70% 915 +10.41%  900 +8.60%
NASA, Space Technology 1,100 1,100 0.00%  1,400 +27.27%  1,500 +36.36%
National Endowment for the Humanities 162.3 167.5 +3.20% 177.6 +6.03% 225 +34.33%
National Institute of Food Agriculture, Ag. and Food Research Initiative 425 435 +2.35% 700 +60.92% 470 +8.05%
National Institutes of Health 41,700 42,900 +2.88%  52,000  +21.21% 46,111 +7.48%
National Institute for Standards and Technology (NIST), Manufacturing Extension Partnerships 146 150 +2.74%  275  +83.33% 165 +10.00%
NIST, National Network for Manufacturing Innovation 16 16.5 +3.13% 167 +912.12% 40 +142.42%
National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), Oceanic and Atmospheric Research 548 570.6 +4.12% 722 +26.53% 640 +12.16%
NOAA, Sea Grant 67 69.5 +3.73% TBD TBD 107.9 +55.25%
National Science Foundation 8,280 8,487 +2.50%  10,200 +20.18%  10,000 +17.83%
Jonathan Nurse

NSF Bills Moving Forward in the Senate and House

On Wednesday, the Senate Committee on Commerce, Science, and Transportation approved legislation to create a Technology and Innovation Directorate within the National Science Foundation as well as provide billions in new funding to the agency. The bipartisan Endless Frontiers Act (EFA) was approved on a 24-4 vote and is expected to receive full consideration in the chamber by the end of the month. Significant changes were made to the legislation in recent days including a reduction of funding directed to the new technology directorate. The committee-approved version authorizes $81 billion for NSF for FY21-26, including $52 billion to existing basic research activities and $29 billion to the new directorate. Additionally, the bill authorizes $17 billion for the Department of Energy. 

Yesterday, the House Research and Technology Subcommittee advanced its version of EFA, the NSF for the Future Act. The House bill authorizes $72.7 billion for NSF over the same period as EFA, with $59.5 billion to the existing basic research mission and $13.2 for a new Directorate for Science and Engineering Solutions. The House bill is also on track for consideration by the full chamber in the coming weeks.

FSU Federal Relations continues to work with the higher education community to engage the Florida delegation on the NSF bills. 

Jonathan Nurse

R&D Prominent in Biden Address to Congress

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Biden Executive Actions Impacting Higher Ed.

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Federal Update Session Slides

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Biden Names Science Team Picks

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Pres-elect Proposes Additional COVID-19 Relief

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Fed. Update Session 1/22 at 10am

The FSU Office of Federal Relations will host a virtual update on Friday, January 22nd at 10am. The one hour session will cover:Final FY21 Appropriations FiguresWays to Engage the FY22 Appropriations ... Read More

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117th Congress Gets Underway

On Sunday, senators and representatives arrived on Capitol Hill to begin the work of the 117th Congress. With a Phase IV COVID-19 financial relief and final FY21 appropriations package signed into ... Read More

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