Research Project Support develops intellectual capital through support for researchers engaged in disciplinary and cross-disciplinary research. It emphasizes the discovery of new knowledge and contributes to education and training. Research Project Support includes funding for both Research Projects and Centers.

(Millions of Dollars)

Research Projects

FY 1999 support for Research Projects totals $1,902 million, an increase of about $225 million, or 13.4 percent, over FY 1998. Support for Research Projects includes funding for researchers and postdoctoral associates as well as undergraduate and graduate assistants. Funds are also provided for items necessary for performing research; such as instrumentation and supplies, and for related costs such as travel and conference support. NSF seeks out and supports excellent proposals from groups and regions that traditionally have not fully participated in science, mathematics, and engineering.

NSF support provided under the other key program functions is essential for research in science and engineering. Support for research facilities provides access to state-of-the art facilities which are essential for world-class research. Support for activities under the education and training key program function promotes the integration of research and education and ensures that the rewards of discovery are shared more quickly and disseminated more widely. There are also many activities within Research Project Support that contribute to the integration of research and education including: Research Experiences for Undergraduates (REU), Research in Undergraduate Institutions (RUI), Faculty Early Career Development (CAREER), and Grant Opportunities for Academic Liaison with Industry (GOALI).

In FY 1999 NSF will implement efforts to address long-standing concerns about grant sizes by increasing the average size and the duration of the awards and providing more support for researchers, with particular attention to new investigators. These efforts will also contribute to increasing the efficiency of the Foundation's merit review process and achieving greater cost-effectiveness for both NSF and the university community.

Knowledge and Distributed Intelligence (KDI) is a broad theme that describes specific Foundation-wide activities focused on improving our ability to discover, collect, represent, transmit, and apply information. FY 1999 emphases include:

New Challenges to Computation: NSF will support the development of new methodologies to analyze large data sets in real-time, to enhance our understanding of complexity and to support biological and quantum computation.

Life and Earth's Environment (LEE) is a broad theme describing activities that focus on the complex interdependencies among living organisms and their environments. FY 1999 emphases include:

Other Priorities

Other research efforts will include an increase of more than $8 million for Arctic research supported through Polar Programs, including a $5 million increase for high priorities in Arctic logistics; $19 million for research on the role of phenomena at the molecular level in biological, geological and engineering problems; and research in areas including next generation biology-based technologies, human-centered systems such as intelligent human/computer interfaces, the security and reliability of computer systems, research in fundamental and applied mathematics, the role of quantum mechanics in physical science, and research on the development and utilization of human capital.

Approximately $105 million in total support is targeted for young investigators, including about $94 million for the Faculty Early Career Development (CAREER) program. CAREER supports junior faculty within the context of their overall career development and combines, in a single program, the integrated support of quality research and education. Support for the Research Experiences for Undergraduates (REU) program, which involves undergraduate students in research activities, increases by about 14.5 percent to almost $36 million. These programs are part of the Foundation's efforts in the area of Educating for the Future which emphasize the integration of research and education.

In FY 1999, NSF programs for increasing the participation of women and minority researchers total more than $105 million. NSF support for university/industry partnerships within an integrated education/research environment will be increased by almost $4 million through the Grant Opportunities for Academic Liaison with Industry (GOALI) program.

The Experimental Program to Stimulate Competitive Research (EPSCoR), a State-NSF partnership, will continue to support improvements in academic research competitiveness. In FY 1999, funding for EPSCoR through the Education and Human Resources appropriation totals more than $38 million. Linkages between EPSCoR and other NSF-supported research and education and training activities is expected to result in an additional $15 million directed to research in EPSCoR states.

NSF will provide $10 million support for a Foundation-wide initiative on research on education and training technologies, in partnership with the Department of Education. This initiative, which also receives $15 million support under NSF's Education and Training key program function, aims to extend the effective application of computer, networking, and other technologies to K-12 education

In FY 1999, NSF continues to support research activities under the Plant Genome Research Program. a This $40 million program, built upon an existing base of plant genome research of approximately $20 million within the Biological Sciences Activity, will advance understanding of the structure, organization and function of plant genomes, with particular attention to economically significant plants, and accelerate utilization of new knowledge and innovative technologies toward a more complete understanding of basic biological processes in plants.

In FY 1999, NSF will provide $50 million support, unchanged from FY 1998, for the Foundation-wide Major Research Instrumentation (MRI) program.

The Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) program is supported at the mandated level of at least 2.5 percent of extramural research. The program will total approximately $58 million, an increase of $6 million over FY 1998.


NSF supports a variety of individual centers and centers programs as part of Research Project Support. The centers play a key role in furthering the advancement of science and engineering in the U.S., particularly through their encouragement of interdisciplinary research and the integration of research and education. While the programs are diverse, the centers share a commitment:

The centers and center programs are listed below.
(Millions of Dollars)

1Other Centers include the National Center for Environmental Decision-Making Research, Research Centers on the Human Dimensions of Global Change, the National Consortium on Violence Research, the National High Field FT-ICR Mass Spectrometry Center, and the National Center for Geographic Information and Analysis.

FY 1999 support for centers is $224 million, an increase of $3 million over FY 1998. Funding for the Engineering Research Centers will increase by $3 million to fund up to two new centers in the area of teaching and learning technology. The planned phase down of the first class of Science and Technology Centers will provide funds for a FY 1999 competition for up to 10 new centers. Funding for the Materials Research Science and Engineering Centers will increase by almost $4 million to contribute to support for up to four new centers. Funding for the Long Term Ecological Research Program increases to about $15 million, with increased support for research on urban communities, microbial systems and collaboration with international LTERs.

Additional information for selected centers supported by NSF is provided below:

1997 Estimates for Selected Centers
(Millions of Dollars)
Number of Participating Institutions: all academic institutions which participate in activities at the centers.
Number of Partners: the total number of non-academic participants, including industry, states, and other federal agencies, at the centers.
Total Leveraged Support: funding for centers from sources other than NSF.
Number of Participants: the total number of people who utilize center facilities; not just persons directly supported by NSF.

NSF investments in fundamental research provide support for cutting-edge research in many fields and help to maintain the nation's capacity to conduct research in science and engineering. Selected examples of accomplishments of NSF-supported activities are included below.

Breaking the Code on Flowers

In its sixth year, the Multinational Coordinated Arabidopsis Genome Project reported that more than 500 mapped genetic loci of Arabidopsis, the model flowering plant, have been analyzed in detail. Having gained this experience, the project has launched its large-scale genomic sequencing effort at a collection of genome centers world wide. At the current rate of sequencing, the entire genome is expected to be sequenced by 2004. Additional investments in Arabidopsis sequencing made through the Plant Genome Research Program will allow completion of sequencing by the year 2000. This rapid pace also results in very rapid accumulation of masses of data. A coordinated network of databases has been established to organize, store, and disseminate the information. Among the practical applications involving the Arabidopsis genome discoveries, recent attention has ranged from reduction of polyunsaturation in seed oils to production of biodegradable plastic in crop plants.

When Biofilms Can't Communicate

Biofilms form in water when different strains of bacteria bind together in a sticky web. Some biofilms play a beneficial role in the treatment of waste containing liquids or in the bioremediation of contaminated groundwater aquifers. However, detrimental biofilms have been implicated in diseases such as cystic fibrosis and blood poisoning. Other biofilms secrete acids that eat away tough metals and minerals corroding the legs of oil derricks and even teeth.

The Biofilm Engineering Research Center focused on understanding the biological nature of these films so they could engineer them to control their formation and use. The center used confocal microscopy and physical probes to examine the structure of the films. They found complex and sophisticated architectures. The biofilms live in slimy towers with water channels that carry nutrients to all parts of the community. The bacteria communicate through chemical sensing mechanisms to form these structures. Researchers discovered that introducing a mutant strain of the bacteria without the signaling chemical caused the towers and structures of the biofilm to collapse. Without the signaling molecule, the cells cannot make a biofilm. The center's engineers and biologists discovered a class of compounds that can prevent biofilm formation by manipulating the behavior of bacterial cells rather than using toxic agents that harm the environment or the host. This may have widespread applications in industry and medicine.

Learning How to Learn

With funding from NSF’s Learning and Intelligent Systems (LIS) initiative, an interdisciplinary team of researchers at the University of California at Los Angeles and Los Angeles math and science teachers are collaborating on research on learning. This research emphasized hands-on activities that require skills relevant to science, such as careful observation, measuring, predicting and testing hypotheses. The ultimate aim is to help teachers create an "embedded curriculum"-- an environment where scientific ideas and activities can be naturally integrated into the school day." Examples include number games, the use of measuring instruments, exploring the differences between objects, and the maintenance of a scientific notebook of drawings, tracings and ideas. The research on embedded curricula has already directly influenced the design of science instruction in an English as Second Language (ESL) program in Los Angeles. This emerging science of learning and its practical applications is helping educators, parents and policy makers develop improved methods of educational reform.

Getting a Line on Storms

In the past, forecasting techniques were only able to give about 30 minutes warning for tornadoes, flash floods and severe thunderstorms, and general projections on their extent and severity. With the goal of reducing these limitations, the Center for Analysis and Prediction of Storms (CAPS) at the University of Oklahoma is continuing development of a new storm-prediction capability that has set milestones in the field. In 1996, CAPS' state-of-the-art computer model, the Advanced Regional Prediction System (ARPS), for the first time successfully predicted the location and structure of individual storms up to six hours in advance. In 1996, ARPS made successful forecasts for the position and timing of storms seven hours in advance, even though the storms hadn't yet begun to form when the model was run. Current models that use local weather data as input are based on state of the art computer architecture. Early warning capability and the accuracy of predictions will continue to improve as improvements are made in computer architecture.

Reflections from Clouds

Data indicate that cloud systems that form in layers with enhanced aerosol concentrations reflect more sunlight than clouds that form in clean marine air. It has been suggested that these cloud systems could impact the earth's radiation budget sufficiently to force significant climate perturbations. NSF-supported investigators participated in the second Aerosol Characterization Experiment (ACE-2), an international field project which was designed to study the chemical, physical, radiative, and cloud modification properties of anthropogenic aerosols from Europe and desert dust from the African continent as they are transported over the North Atlantic Ocean. The ACE-2 study was conducted during the summer of 1997 and used aircraft, ships, ground stations, and satellite remote sensing to collect quantitative data about aerosol properties and their impact on radiation. From these data, it will be possible for the first time to relate the reflective properties of the clouds to the physical and chemical properties of the aerosol particles on which the cloud droplets formed. Knowledge of these effects may illuminate the roles of various cloud and aerosol distributions on climate and climate change.

A Line of Atoms

NSF supported researchers at MIT recently created the first atomic laser--a device that creates coherence among atoms, much like photons in a light laser. This allows the control of groups of atoms which can be focused to a point or moved over large distances without spreading out. Atomic lasers may one day be used to fabricate extremely small electronic components that will form the basis for highly efficient navigation and communication devices. An essential step in developing the atomic laser was to create a new form of supercooled matter--Bose-Einstein condensate (BEC). In BEC, the atoms act as a single wave with properties like those of light waves within a laser. The atom wave associated with BEC has a wavelength a million times larger than the wavelengths of room-temperature atoms--a completely novel effect. Also critical to development of the atom laser was work on laser cooling and trapping of atoms, that was partially supported by NSF and which formed the basis for the 1997 Nobel Prize in Physics.

Good Things Come in Small Packages

Nanotechnology arises from the exploitation of physical, chemical, and biological properties of systems
that are intermediate in size between isolated molecules and bulk materials. The discovery of novel phenomena and processes at the 'nano' scale have provided revolutionary scientific and technological opportunities for a wide range of tools and materials with unique qualities. These include devices such as minuscule transistors that use less energy; tiny medical probes that won't damage tissue; improved disk-drive heads to boost data storage density; and ceramics, polymers, metals, and other materials with special properties.

The NSF supports a wide range of research activities in nanoscale science and technology, including five nanotechnology research hubs with a focus on electronics, biology and optoelectronics. Recent theoretical research at Northwestern University, demonstrating how individual molecules can act as a wire, has promising applications in communications, computation, and data storage. Related research at Purdue University has proven the concept of linking metallic nanoclusters and molecular wires to fabricate a two-dimensional lattice about 20 times smaller than the current technology. This has applications for interconnector networks for high density integrated circuits, opto-electronic devices, and chemical sensors.

A New Industry Based on Geographic Information Systems

The National Center for Geographic Information and Analysis (NCGIA) was established to foster the development of revolutionary computer-based methods for integrating, collating, displaying, and analyzing geographically-referenced information NCGIA research has helped to create a new field of geographic information science which, in turn, has spawned a new geographic information systems industry. Geographic information systems facilitate the investigation of complex problems by integrating geographical, social, political, economic, environmental, and physical data at different scales. OMB reported that in 1994, almost $4.4 billion worth of Federal activity was concerned with geographic information and the total value for the national economy was approximately $10 billion.

NCGIA personnel have also developed new and novel software for data collection, handling, and visualization that has led to advances in the ways in which people, perceive and interact with the environment; the ways in which quantitative and qualitative attributes of a place can be coded; and the development and application of new technologies such as digital libraries, artificial intelligence and expert systems, and global positioning systems.

Drilling for Clues to the Future

Significant changes in the Earth's climate might require changes in how we produce food and energy and how and where we live. It is difficult to predict long term global climate change but ice cores provide an excellent source of long term data. The deep ice cores from Greenland, obtained by NSF-supported scientists and their European colleagues, show a surprising record of rapid climate shifts in the North Atlantic region. These cores, some of the deepest ever drilled, were more than 3 kilometers deep. They contain a record extending back at least 100,000 years. Drilling is now underway in Antarctica to obtain a similar record of past climate. Comparison of the Greenland and Antarctic ice cores will help to assess whether the rapid changes recorded in the North Atlantic had a global reach, or were only regional. By understanding how climate has changed on regional and global scales, theories can be developed and tested to help explain the causes of change and to help define the magnitude and timing of future climate changes.

Data for Disaster Planning

The NSF-funded Digital Library project at Berkeley has collected more than 2,000 documents, 57,000 photographs, and about 300,000 data records relating to the California environment. Many of these data come from the California Environmental Resource Evaluation System. In early 1997 there were severe floods in parts of northern California, and images and data about certain areas in the state before the floods was of urgent importance to governmental agencies coping with the problems. The Berkeley project provided quick and indexed access to combined data sets (e.g. tables of dam sizes combined with photographs of dam sites). These data were not previously available in any such single way. Since the data are on the Web, they could also be reached from many locations without delay. The success of this project has encouraged the California state government to build its own digital library site, using copies of the Berkeley software to assist in land-use planning and environmental work during ordinary times as well as future disaster relief efforts.

Increasing Competitiveness

In 19 states and Puerto Rico, the NSF Experimental Program to Stimulate Competitive Research (EPSCoR) has established long-term partnerships with leaders of government, higher education, and business to develop academic research infrastructure and increase R&D competitiveness. From 1980-95, over 4,900 proposals to competitive NSF and NIH research programs were funded for a total of $530 million. For each $1 invested by EPSCoR, $3 was received in additional R&D support from regular NSF/NIH programs and over $3 from direct state investment. Among recent successes are: a partnership between the EPSCoR Nevada Center for Civil Engineering Earthquake Research and NSF’s National Earthquake Engineering Research Center; and identification of the gene involved in the familial form of pancreatic cancer by EPSCoR researchers at the University of Oklahoma in collaboration with the NIH National Human Genome Research Institute.

Description of NSF Centers

Engineering Research Centers

The Engineering Research Centers (ERC) unite academe and industry to focus on next-generation advances in complex engineered systems important for the nation’s future. Industrial partners in ERCs collaborate with faculty and students, laying the groundwork to produce the knowledge base for steady advances in technology and their speedy transition to the marketplace. ERCs integrate engineering education and research, expose students to industrial views to build competence in engineering practice, and produce engineering graduates with the depth and breadth of education needed for leadership throughout their careers.

In 1997, total support to 19 centers, from all sources, was approximately $179 million. NSF funds approximately 27 percent of ERC total annual budgets, with industry providing another 27 percent, and other federal agencies, universities, and the states providing the remainder. NSF’s annual funding for each ERC averages $2.4 million. NSF’s FY 1999 support for the ERC program totals approximately $56 million, an increase of about $3 million, or 6 percent, over FY 1998.

By 1998, almost 700 firms have become partners with ERCs. A recent study of ERC partnerships has determined that 90 percent of the firms have received direct benefit from collaboration with the ERCs; for 67 percent of the firms studied, involvement has had a direct impact on their competitive position. In FY 1997, the ERCs produced 46 inventions, 18 patents, 48 licenses, and 8 small businesses.

Science and Technology Centers

The Science and Technology Centers (STC) program supports innovative interdisciplinary research, education, and knowledge transfer efforts in fields of basic science, mathematics, and engineering. STCs foster new approaches that signal a new collaborative culture among academic and industrial researchers and educators at all levels. The Centers provide opportunities to explore research problems that require interdisciplinary expertise, access to state-of-the-art instrumentation and facilities, and a commitment of high levels of support for sustained periods of time. NSF’s annual funding for each STC averages approximately $2.6 million per year. Additional NSF support is provided for international activities and supplementary educational activities. It is estimated that funding from other sources, including 350 industrial participants, totaled approximately $40 million in FY 1997.

STCs have an impressive record of research accomplishments, research training, contributions to K-12 education, and timely transfer of knowledge and technology from the laboratory to industry. Traditional barriers among disciplines and between university, governmental, and industry laboratories have been reduced, creating a new mode of leadership and management in research and education. STCs have enabled the training of graduate students and postdoctoral fellows; pursued research of interest to industrial advisors; engaged scores of industrial researchers in basic research; and spawned new companies, products, and jobs.

STCs also create partnerships and programs to transfer knowledge from academic research centers to the nation. For example, research on advanced cement-based materials has involved the active collaboration of many industrial scientists. The STCs have been granted more than 92 patents.

NSF’s FY 1999 support for the STC program totals approximately $52 million, a decrease of almost $5 million, or 8 percent, from FY 1998. The reduction of support reflects the planned phase-down of the first class of STCs. In FY 1999, NSF will conduct the first competition for a new class of STCs since FY 1988.

Industry/University Cooperative Research Centers and
State/Industry/University Cooperative Research Centers

The Industry/University Cooperative Research Centers (I/UCRCs) enable close collaboration between faculty, students, and industrial personnel in support of projects that are highly relevant to industrial needs. NSF’s FY 1999 support for the I/UCRC program totals $5 million, a $810,000 increase over FY 1998. NSF funds are leveraged almost 17 times, ensuring that industrial support and involvement are the dominant feature of these centers. In FY 1997, 53 centers involved about 1,500 faculty and students who interact with 400 firms and agencies across the nation. Since some of these firms and agencies have memberships in more than one center, there are about 500 total memberships. The research results of these centers have led to numerous new technologies that have spawned a wide range of changes in industrial processes which have helped to keep the U.S. competitive in world markets. These centers have also produced a large cadre of students who understand industrial practices and are able to function effectively as soon as they enter the industrial workforce.

The State/Industry/University Cooperative Research Centers build on the I/UCRC model to involve states more directly in support of these centers as equal partners with NSF and industry. In FY 1997, these partners supported 12 centers in which more than 250 companies were working with over 1,000 faculty and students. The focus of these centers is on industrially relevant research that will contribute to the competitiveness of the partner firms and to local economic development by attracting business to a state, producing a better trained workforce, and stimulating the development of spin-off small businesses. NSF’s FY 1999 support for the State I/UCRC program totals approximately $1.8 million, a decrease of $1.75 million from FY 1998. This is part of a planned phase down with funding being redirected to support research efforts aimed at strengthening university-industry-state partnerships.

Centers of Research Excellence in Science and Technology

The Centers of Research Excellence in Science and Technology (CREST) program, formerly known as Minority Research Centers of Excellence, upgrades the research capabilities of the most productive minority institutions. Through strong alliances with other universities and laboratories, the Centers produce new knowledge and increase student presence in science, mathematics, engineering, and technology in their region. In FY 1999, support for the CREST program totals approximately $9 million, unchanged from FY 1998.

Materials Research Science and Engineering Centers

The Materials Research Science and Engineering Centers (MRSEC) program supports interdisciplinary materials research addressing fundamental problems of intellectual and strategic importance. The centers have strong links to industry and other sectors, and support educational outreach to other institutions. The MRSEC Program, which started in 1994, incorporated other group activities in materials research. There were 25 centers, laboratories, or groups within the program in FY 1997. NSF’s FY 1999 support for the MRSEC program totals approximately $52 million, an increase of about $4 million, or 8 percent, over FY 1998.

The MRSECs include broad-based centers with diverse research agendas as well as those which are more focused. The broader centers feature research at the cutting edge of materials science and engineering in areas such as polymers and biomolecular materials, electronic and photonic nanostructures, superconducting and superhard materials, oxide surfaces and magnetic systems, as well as a design and manufacturing initiative. The more focused centers emphasize specific areas of importance such as magnetic materials for information storage, sensors for automobile control and diagnostics, and the development of enabling technologies for manufacture of electronic materials.

Center For Ecological Analysis and Synthesis
In FY 1995, NSF provided support to establish the Center for Ecological Analysis and Synthesis (CEAS) at the University of California at Santa Barbara. This center promotes integrative studies of complex ecological questions and serves as a locus for the synthesis of large data sets. The goals of the Center are to advance the state of ecological knowledge through the search for universal patterns and principles and to organize and synthesize ecological information so that it will be useful to researchers, policy makers and resource managers addressing important environmental problems. NSF’s FY 1999 support for the CEAS program totals $2 million, level with FY 1998.

Long Term Ecological Research Program

The Long Term Ecological Research (LTER) program supports long-term analysis of ecological phenomena, both natural and human influenced; comparisons of observations across diverse ecosystems; integration of information from multiple sites and multidisciplinary projects through cross-site syntheses; and provision of large, secure, ecologically diverse sites with well-developed support capabilities. Extensive computer modeling allows regional, national and international synthesis efforts.

In FY 1998 NSF is supporting 21 LTER sites that are representative of major ecosystems, including two sites in Antarctica and one in Arctic Alaska. Broad-based collaborative interdisciplinary research is ongoing at all of the sites. The LTER Program has taken the lead in establishing a worldwide ecological research network by electronically linking the U.S. LTER network with research sites in Europe, Latin America, and the Asia/Pacific region.

In FY 1997, two Urban LTERs were established in human-dominated, urban ecosystems to study human-environment interactions. In FY 1998, one new coastal Long Term Ecological Research (cLTER) site is being established to focus on ecological systems at the interfaces of land masses and coastal oceans. NSF’s FY 1999 support for the LTER program totals approximately $15 million, an increase of about $1 million, or 7 percent, over FY 1998.

Earthquake Engineering Research Centers

In FY 1997 NSF provided funding to establish three new centers that will be supported for five years at up to $2 million each year. NSF’s FY 1999 support for the Earthquake Engineering Research Centers program totals $6 million, unchanged from FY 1998.

National Center for Environmental Decision-Making Research

In FY 1995, the National Center for Environmental Decision-Making Research was established to improve the scientific basis for government and industrial decision making on the environment by synthesizing research results from a variety of sources. The Center analyzes and synthesizes data from existing research and prepares case studies and information systems to make this material available to decision makers. NSF’s FY 1999 support for the National Center for Environmental Decision-Making Research totals $1 million, level with FY 1998.

Research Centers on the Human Dimensions of Global Change

NSF has supported a consortium of Research Centers on the Human Dimensions of Global Change since FY 1995. The goals of these centers are to facilitate the progress of Human Dimensions of Global Change (HDGC) research; promote the education and training of researchers ranging from undergraduate to postdoctoral levels; and foster interdisciplinary and multidisciplinary research collaborations on HDGC issues. In order to capitalize on the synergy inherent in collaborative efforts, all supported institutions are networked. NSF’s FY 1999 support for the HDGC program totals approximately $2.5 million, about an 18 percent increase over FY 1998.

National Consortium on Violence Research

NSF’s annual support for the National Consortium on Violence Research totals $2.0 million. Because violence involves multi-level phenomena, there is a particular need for interdisciplinary collaboration in order to integrate scientific knowledge across multiple levels of analysis. The Consortium involves a program of fundamental research focused on the development of integrated theories, the facilitation of collaborative methodological research, and the promotion of intellectual exchange and research that cuts across disciplines. Effective mechanisms to disseminate information about findings and data are an important aspect of the center’s work. Important component of the Consortium will be the training of the next generation of researchers in interdisciplinary approaches to understanding violence and to increase the participation of underrepresented groups in research on violence.

National High Field FT-ICR Mass Spectrometry Center

In FY 1994 the National High Field FT-ICR Mass Spectrometry Center was established as an adjunct to the National High Magnetic Field Laboratory (NHMFL). The Center is taking advantage of advances in magnet technology to develop mass spectrometers of unprecedented mass range and resolution. The new instruments developed at the Center will enable research across a wide range of scientific disciplines, allowing, for example, the direct sequencing of large proteins so that they may be produced in quantities needed for bioprocessing, or the routine analysis of complex chemical mixtures needed to identify trace contaminants in crude oil. NSF’s FY 1999 support for the National High Field FT-ICR Mass Spectrometry Center totals $1 million, an increase of $200,000 over FY 1998 to provide necessary leading edge instrumentation.

National Center for Geographic Information and Analysis

The National Center for Geographic Information and Analysis (NCGIA) conducts basic research on issues of cognition, analysis, and display that affect a broad range of applications. By identifying and resolving problems in these areas, NSF-funded researchers have developed the conceptual framework for geographic information systems and other spatial analysis tools that have become integral to large-scale research, planning, and management. NSF’s FY 1999 support for NCGIA of $600,000 is level with FY 1998.

NSF-funded research has focused on developing more powerful methods for manipulating, correlating, analyzing, and displaying geographic data. NCGIA has also developed a core curriculum on geographic information systems that integrates material from experts around the world. A similar curriculum is being developed for remote sensing.

Plant Genome Centers
Plant Genome collaboratories and virtual centers are being established in FY 1998. They will provide multi-institutional networks where coordinated, multi-investigator teams pursue comprehensive plant genome research relevant to economically important plants. NSF support for the Plant Genome Centers in FY 1999 is $18 million, level with FY 1998.

Critical Technologies Institute

The Critical Technologies Institute (CTI) is a Federally-Funded Research and Development Center that provides analytical support to the Office of Science and Technology Policy. The views of U.S. industry, colleges and universities, and federal and state agencies involved in research and development or utilization of technologies considered critical for U.S. global economic or defense leadership, are analyzed. Through such analyses, the Institute identifies near-term and long-term objectives for research and development; analyzes the production capability and economic viability with respect to such technologies; and provides options for achieving those objectives. NSF’s FY 1999 support for CTI totals $2.73 million, unchanged from FY 1998.