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President's Proposed FY 2007 Budget Shows Modest Increase in R&D Funding
NSF 06-330 | October 2006 | PDF format PDF format  

In its fiscal year (FY) 2007 budget, the Bush administration proposed a total budget authority of $136.9 billion for research and development (R&D) and R&D plant programs, an increase of 1.2 percent over the preliminary FY 2006 R&D and R&D plant total of $135.2 billion (table 1).[1] After adjusting for expected inflation, the FY 2007 R&D and R&D plant budget authority represents a decrease of 1.0 percent over he FY 2006 figure.[2]


Table 1. Federal R&D and R&D plant budget authority, by budget function:  FY 2005–07.

  Table 1 Source Data: Excel file


This InfoBrief contains information on the overall distribution and changing patterns of federal funding of these R&D components, as proposed by the Bush administration for FY 2007. The discussion follows on the eight largest mission area budget functions[3] with respect to R&D and R&D plant funding: national defense, health, space research and technology, general science, natural resources and environment, agriculture, transportation, and energy. These R&D and R&D plant activities cut across agency lines and account for 97.8 percent of the total R&D and R&D plant budget authority for FY 2007.

Proposed Defense R&D and R&D Plant

The Bush administration proposed a 1.0 percent increase in national defense R&D and R&D plant budget authority in FY 2007. With this increase, defense would account for 57.3 percent ($78.4 billion) of the federal R&D and R&D plant total (tables 1 and 2). Most—93.3 percent, or $73.2 billion—of the FY 2007 national defense R&D budget authority is vested in the Department of Defense's (DOD's) military research, development, test, and evaluation programs (RDT&E) (table 3). R&D funding for the Department of Energy's (DOE's) atomic energy defense activities accounts for another 5.1 percent ($4.0 billion) of the proposed FY 2007 national defense R&D budget. Most of the DOE defense funding for R&D is for weapons activities ($2.9 billion). The remaining money for this budget function is for other military funding ($0.9 billion), which includes DOD military funding for personnel costs in direct support of conduct of R&D, medical research funding outside RDT&E accounts, and other DOD programs, as well as for the Department of Homeland Security funding for defense programs ($0.3 billion).


Table 2. Distribution of total federal R&D and R&D plant budget authority, by budget function:  FY 2005–07.

  Table 2 Source Data: Excel file


Table 3. Federal R&D and R&D plant budget authority for national defense: FY 2005–07.

  Table 3 Source Data: Excel file


Proposed Nondefense R&D and R&D Plant

The nondefense share of federal R&D and R&D plant budget authority accounts for 42.7 percent of the total in FY 2007 (table 2). The President's budget contains a $0.9 billion increase in total nondefense R&D and R&D plant budget authority. The resulting $58.5 billion total represents a 1.5 percent increase over preliminary FY 2006 funding.

Among individual budget functions, health accounts for the largest share of the total nondefense R&D and R&D plant budget authority at 49.6 percent ($29.0 billion) and the second largest share of the total R&D and R&D plant budget authority at 21.2 percent (tables 1 and 2). Health, however, is budgeted to decrease slightly (down $63 million) below the FY 2006 level. The National Institutes of Health programs make up the bulk of the health R&D and R&D plant account ($27.8 billion). 

Space research and technology makes up 8.4 percent ($11.5 billion) of the total R&D and R&D plant budget authority (tables 1 and 2). The Bush administration proposed a 10.2 percent increase in R&D and R&D plant budget authority for space research and technology activities, up $1.1 billion from the FY 2006 level. The entire space research and technology account is covered by National Aeronautical and Space Administration programs.

General science accounts for 6.1 percent of the proposed total federal R&D and R&D plant budget authority, and is proposed to increase 11.0 percent—or $826 million—in FY 2007, to a total of $8.3 billion (tables 1 and 2). National Science Foundation accounts for 54.4 percent ($4.5 billion) of these dollars, with DOE providing the rest ($3.8 billion) of the general science funds.

Natural resources and environment R&D and R&D plant is budgeted at $2.0 billion in FY 2007, down 7.2 percent from the FY 2006 level (table 1). Five agencies provide support for R&D activities in natural resources and environment: Department of Agriculture, Department of Commerce, DOD's Army Corps of Engineers, Department of the Interior, and the Environmental Protection Agency. Natural resources and environment R&D account for 1.5 percent of the total federal R&D and R&D plant budget authority under the proposed budget (table 2).

Agriculture R&D and R&D plant is slated to get $1.7 billion for R&D and R&D plant activities in FY 2007, down 19.6 percent from the FY 2006 level (table 1). Agriculture would account for 1.3 percent of the total federal R&D and R&D plant budget authority in FY 2007 (table 2).

Transportation R&D and R&D plant is expecting $1.5 billion for R&D and R&D plant activities in FY 2007, down 13.5 percent from FY 2006 (table 1). Under the proposed budget, transportation would account for 1.1 percent of the total federal R&D and R&D plant budget authority in FY 2007 (table 2).

Energy R&D and R&D plant is slated to get $1.4 billion for R&D and R&D plant activities in FY 2007, down 3.9 percent from FY 2006 (table 1). Under the proposed budget, energy would account for 1.0 percent of the total federal R&D and R&D plant budget authority in FY 2007 (table 2).

Historical Accuracy

The data in this InfoBrief represent agencies' best estimates of actual and proposed federal funding for R&D collected during the period February through April 2006. Agencies later revise their proposed data to reflect actual changes in R&D program funding levels. Agencies may also provide changes to prior-year data to reflect program reclassifications or other corrections. Therefore, actual data for a given year may differ from the proposed data for the same year. As an example, when first proposed by the Administration in January 2004, the proposed FY 2005 R&D (excluding R&D plant) budget authority was $127.1 billion. After congressional actions and agency funding decisions, actual R&D budget authority for FY 2005 was reported at $126.6 billion, a downward revision of 0.4 percent ($487 million) from earlier expectations (figure 1). Actual R&D funding for defense ($74.0 billion) and for nondefense ($52.6 billion) activities were lower than the proposed R&D funding for defense (down 0.2 percent, or $112 million) and for nondefense (down 0.7 percent, or $375 million) in FY 2005.


Figure 1.  Difference in actual federal R&D budget authority from proposed funding, as a percentage of proposed funding:  FY 1995–2005.

  Figure 1 Source Data: Excel file


More pronounced differences between the proposed R&D funding and the actual R&D funding occurred in FY 2000 and in FY 2001, when actual defense R&D funding was above the proposed defense R&D funding by 12.9 percent in FY 2000 and 10.4 percent in FY 2001. In FY 2000 and in FY 2001, actual nondefense R&D funding was below the proposed nondefense R&D funding by 4.3 percent and 0.7 percent, respectively.

For at least the past 11 years, total actual R&D funding differed narrowly (by 5 percent or less) from the total amounts initially proposed by the administration (figure 1). In each of the years from FY 1996 to FY 2004, actual defense R&D funding was more than the amounts initially proposed. By contrast, in about half those years actual nondefense funding has been greater than the amounts initially proposed, and in about half those years has fared worse.

Data Collection Notes

These data are based primarily on information agencies provide to the Office of Management and Budget and account for nearly all federally sponsored R&D activities. The annual report, Federal R&D Funding by Budget Function: Fiscal Years 2005–07, and this InfoBrief, also contain R&D information that became available from the individual agencies after the administration's budget was prepared and reported. Such information consists of agency budget justification documents submitted to Congress and supplemental, program-specific information obtained from agency budget and program staff. Therefore, budget numbers for individual activities, programs, or agencies may differ from those published in the President's budget or agency budget documents. Pending congressional action will determine the final budget authority for R&D in FY 2007.

For further information, contact

Ronald L. Meeks
Research and Development Statistics Program
Division of Science Resources Statistics
National Science Foundation
4201 Wilson Boulevard, Suite 965
Arlington, VA 22230
703-292-7787
rmeeks@nsf.gov

 

Footnotes

[1] Budget authority is what the law authorizes, or allows, the federal government to spend for programs, projects, or activities. Proposed FY 2007 funding levels are for budget authority, which is the basis for initial congressional action. In future InfoBriefs, these data will be revised to reflect congressional appropriation and actual program-funding decisions.

Preliminary FY 2006 funding levels are for budget authority, which reflects all past congressional actions but may be revised, since at the time of InfoBrief preparation, FY 2006 had not been completed.

[2] Details on federal funding of the R&D components of agency programs for FY 2005–07 will be available in the forthcoming National Science Foundation report, Federal R&D Funding by Budget Function: Fiscal Years 2005–07.

[3] The budget functions used in this InfoBrief are the same budget functions used in the President's report, Budget of the United States Government, Fiscal Year 2007.


National Science Foundation, Division of Science Resources Statistics
President's Proposed FY 2007 Budget Shows Modest Increase in R&D Funding
Arlington, VA (NSF 06-330) [October 2006]


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