The FY 2001 Budget Request for Engineering is $456.50 million, an increase of $74.66 million, or 19.6 percent, over the FY 2000 Current Plan of $381.84 million.
(Millions of Dollars)
The Engineering Activity (ENG) supports research that
is fundamental to the engineering process. Such research seeks to develop
a deep understanding of engineering systems, devices, and materials,
and the processes and methodologies that underpin them. Over the long
term, ENG investments contribute to a
A large fraction of ENG's funds are invested in investigator-initiated research, much of which exploits opportunities related to the transcendent technologies of our time: microchip technology, information technology, and biotechnology. ENG's investment in these technologies can be expected to enable significant advances in areas such as healthcare, manufacturing, education, and commercial services.
People are NSF's most important product. At NSF, placing research and learning hand in hand is our highest priority, and the people involved in our projects represent both the focus of our investments and the most important products of them. Across its programs, ENG provides support for almost 12,000 people, including students, researchers, post-doctorates, and trainees. Support for programs specifically addressing NSF's Strategic Goal of "People - A diverse, internationally competitive and globally-engaged workforce of scientists, engineers and well-prepared citizens" totals more than $72 million in FY 2001, an increase of 8.0 percent over FY 2000. Moreover, about 45 percent of the funding for research grants - an amount approaching $168 million in FY 2001 - provides support for researchers and students, including more than 6,700 post-doctorates, trainees, and graduate and undergraduate students.
ENG investments help develop the next generation engineering and technological workforce. Significant education and training opportunities are provided to engineering students through research grants to U.S. universities and colleges. ENG also invests in focused human resources development and education activities through programs designed to increase the knowledge and skill base of future engineers.
Overall, NSF provides about 36 percent of the total federal support for fundamental engineering research and education at U.S. universities and colleges. This sustained investment is significant, and over time will lead to better-trained and educated engineers, new and emerging industrial technologies, and a more diverse and robust engineering community.
In FY 2001, the funding for the ENG Activity will increase by a total of $74.66 million. This additional funding will permit enhanced support for research and education efforts related to broad, Foundation-wide efforts as well as for research in ENG's ongoing disciplinary programs.
Information Technology Research (ITR): ENG will provide $12.44 million for ITR in FY 2001. ENG also supports a broad range of IT-related activities including new physical bases for IT such as quantum computing and molecular logic, domain-specific software, IT for the service sector, modeling and simulation and real-time sensing and control. Areas for special emphasis in FY 2001 include:
Major research areas include devices and systems for monitoring and control of processes, secure and seamless information transmission and reception and the conduct of work and personal tasks from any location ($4.15 million).
Nanoscale Science and Engineering: ENG will provide $87.50 million for Nanoscale Science and Engineering activities in FY 2001, an increase of $57.50 million over FY 2000. This includes some redirected funds within ENG's base programs. ENG will continue to support research on nanotechnology, including functional nanostructures, processing and fabrication of nanostructured materials, new devices and architectures, tools for investigation at nanoscale, and technologies with applications ranging from biology to environmental sensing. The requested funds will permit expansion of research in the following priority areas:
21 st Century Workforce: As part of the Foundation's 21 st Century Workforce Initiative, ENG will continue to provide $2.0 million support for the Interagency Educational Research Initiative. ENG will also provide an additional $100,000 to support development of curricula related to nanotechnology.
In FY 2001, ENG will significantly expand its efforts to address Foundation-wide concerns about grant sizes by increasing the average size and duration of the awards and providing more support for researchers. In accord with the Foundation's FY 2001 Performance Plan, ENG will continue to provide increased attention to the percentage of competitive research grants going to new investigators. These efforts will contribute to increasing the efficiency of the Foundation's merit review process and achieve greater cost-effectiveness for both NSF and the university community.
ENG's support for ongoing and new activities contributes as follows to NSF efforts to achieve its strategic goals, as well as to the administration and management activities necessary to achieve those goals.
(Millions of Dollars)
1Includes only costs charged to the R&RA Appropriation.
In FY 2001, support for discovery increases by $65.95 million to $372.80 million. These funds enable ENG to strengthen its support for fundamental research in the engineering disciplines, to increase award size and funding rate, and to enhance funding for research in promising areas such as information technology, nanotechnology, biotechnology, and microelectronics. Some redistribution of available resources will be accomplished through targeted reductions within existing mature research activities that are expected to be less promising in the future.
The Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) program, which will be funded at a level of $74.70 million, provides funding at the mandated level of 2.5 percent of extramural research, as required by P.L. 102-564. The program emphasizes commercialization of research results at small business enterprises through the support of high quality research across the entire spectrum of NSF disciplines. Recent improvements to the SBIR program include redefinition of research topics to address significant technologies and more emphasis on "commercialization potential" in the SBIR review process.
Total ENG support for the National Earthquake Hazards Reduction (NEHRP) program is $19.0 million, including support for fundamental research that leads to more earthquake-resistant buildings and facilities. Foundation-wide, support for NEHRP in FY 2001 is $59.10 million, including $11.90 million in the Geosciences Activity and $28.20 million in the Major Research Equipment Account for the Network for Earthquake Engineering Simulation (NEES).
In FY 2001, ENG will provide $3.0 million, level with FY 2000, for the Small Business Technology Transfer (STTR) program, which partners small businesses with academic institutions to promote industrial innovation.
ENG also provides funding for university-based centers that facilitate the development of new knowledge and technology. These centers share several important characteristics: a unifying long-term, coordinated approach to complex engineering problems, an emphasis on partnerships and knowledge transfer linkages with industry, and significant educational and outreach programs aimed at integrating education and research.
(Millions of Dollars)
The FY 2001 Budget Request includes:
ENG invests in workforce development through focused programs designed to increase the knowledge and skill base of future engineers and to promote the natural connections between learning and discovery. The portfolio of activities supporting this goal spans undergraduate, graduate, and postdoctoral education and lifelong learning. The purpose is to produce engineering graduates who will be leaders in currently emerging technology areas and position these graduates to push the frontiers of technology. Included within ENG is support for specific NSF-wide research programs that enable the development of human resources in ENG. Examples include the Faculty Early Career Development (CAREER) program, Research Experiences for Undergraduates (REU) site awards and supplements to existing research projects, ADVANCE, and the Integrative Graduate Education and Research Training (IGERT) program.
(Millions of Dollars)
The FY 2001 request is $72.55 million, a $5.40 million increase over FY 2000. This funding will provide support for activities including:
ENG continues to coordinate NSF support for the National Nanofabrication Users Network (NNUN), a network of five university user facilities that offer advanced nano-and micro-fabrication capabilities to researchers in all fields. In FY 2001, ENG will provide $4.0 million to NNUN. This is a $1.20 million increase over FY 2000 to add an additional node as part of the Nanoscale Science and Engineering Initiative. NNUN has had a significant impact on the quantity and quality of research in micro-and nanostructures, serving users from 29 states and seven foreign countries. Over 600 projects and over 1,000 users have benefited from the use of NNUN facilities in the past four and a half years. Hundreds of graduate students and dozens of undergraduate students have had opportunities to work in the state-ofthe-art facilities gaining invaluable research and undergraduate research experience. Support is also provided by the Biological Sciences and the Mathematical and Physical Sciences Activities.
NNUN is part of an overall thrust in nanotechnology that focuses research on the control of properties at the atomic/molecular level, their assembly into nanostructured materials, and utilizing the improved materials as building blocks for engineering applications, such as thin films and coatings, advanced chemical catalysts, artificial biomaterials, and novel optoelectronic devices.
Within the Major Research Equipment (MRE) account, $28.20 million is requested to continue the Network for Earthquake Engineering Simulation (NEES), a project to construct, upgrade, and network and integrate a complete system of test facilities in earthquake engineering. For additional information on this project, see the Major Research Equipment Section.
Administration and Management
Administration and Management provides for administrative activities necessary to enable NSF to achieve its strategic goals. This includes the cost of Intergovernmental Personnel Act appointments, contractors performing administrative functions and, in FY 2001, travel by staff in the program offices.
NSF has previously organized its budget presentation around four key program functions - Research Project Support, Research Facilities, Education and Training, and Administration and Management. In order to link the FY 2001 Budget Request to the NSF Strategic Plan, we have organized the FY 2001 Budget Request around the strategic outcome goals of Ideas, People and Tools, as well as the Administration and Management activities necessary to achieve these goals.
The table below provides a FY 2001 crosswalk for Engineering between funding for the strategic goals and the key program functions.
(Millions of Dollars)
Number of People Involved in ENG Activities
ENG Funding Profile
1 Statistics for award size and duration
are for Research Grants only.
BIOENGINEERING AND ENVIRONMENTAL SYSTEMS $42,050,000
The FY 2001 Budget Request for the Bioengineering & Environmental Systems Subactivity is $42.05 million, an increase of $7.78 million, or 22.7 percent, over the FY 2000 Current Plan of $34.27 million.
(Millions of Dollars)
The Bioengineering and Environmental Systems (BES) Subactivity supports research that expands the knowledge base of bioengineering at scales ranging from DNA and proteins to whole cells and organ systems. Current research areas include tissue engineering, metabolic pathway engineering, sensors, bioinformatics (quantitative systems biology), and protein drug processing.
BES applies engineering principles to the understanding of human physiological systems and the development of new and improved devices and products for human health care at scales ranging from molecular and nano-level structures to entire physiological systems. Among the key areas receiving support are drug and gene delivery systems, novel biophotonic imaging and therapy modalities, biomechanics, and research to aid persons with disabilities.
BES supports research to improve our ability to apply engineering principles to avoid or correct problems that impair the usefulness of land, air, and water systems. Current research areas include environmental remediation, novel waste treatment processes, industrial ecology, technologies for the avoidance of pollution, and the application of new bioengineering technologies for resolving environmental problems.
BES-sponsored research has led to major contributions at the life science/engineering interface. A series of studies involving metal ion complexation of biological compounds has led to development of novel selective biosensors for in-vitro and in-vivo analysis of blood and other biological fluids. This research has also pioneered the development of a novel and potentially very powerful technique of genetic optimization in which DNA replication by PCR under controlled stress conditions yields a large number of modified genes from one natural enzyme gene. The industrial bioengineering community has recognized this development as one likely to revolutionize the use of biocatalysis in the large-scale production of pharmaceuticals and specialty chemicals within the next 10 years.
The requested budget of $42.05 million, an increase of $7.78 million, will support the full spectrum of BES activities and reflects the significant opportunities in these fields. Additional funding will be used to:
An increment of $480,000 and a reallocation of resources within the base will permit BES to enhance support for ongoing disciplinary research in areas such as:
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