Summary of FY2002 Budget Request to Congress - National Science Foundation


The FY 2002 Budget Request for the Bioengineering & Environmental Systems Subactivity is $38.45 million, a decrease of $760,000, or 1.9 percent, below the FY 2001 Current Plan of $39.21 million.

(Millions of Dollars)

   FY 2000 Actual FY 2000
Current Plan
FY 2002 Request Change
Amount Percent
Bioengineering and Environmental Systems
Total, BES

The Bioengineering & Environmental Systems (BES) Subactivity supports research and education in the rapidly evolving fields of bioengineering and environmental engineering. One objective is to enable and facilitate the deployment of new technologies in these fields in service to society for use in the medical, biotechnology, and environmental arenas. Another objective is to advance bioengineering and environmental engineering education, particularly through the development of innovative programs by new faculty. BES focuses on these objectives through three programmatic clusters: (1) Biochemical Engineering/Biotechnology (BEB) supported at $14.5 million, (2) Biomedical Engineering and Research to Aid Persons with Disabilities (BME/RAPD) supported at $13.3 million, and (3) Environmental Engineering and Technology (EET) supported at a level of $10.6 million. Current BES high-emphasis research areas include tissue engineering, metabolic engineering, post-genomic engineering, nanobiotechnology, biophotonics, environmentally benign manufacturing, and phytoremediation. These high-emphasis research areas are built on a continuing base that includes biomaterials, biomechanics, controlled release, bioimaging, biosensors, medical devices and instrumentation, artificial organs, therapeutic agent bioprocessing, industrial bioproducts bioprocessing, bioremediation, ecological engineering, water and waste treatment, biomining, food engineering, and ocean engineering.

Within the U.S. and international research communities, BES has played a key role in catalyzing the start-up and development of highly promising new cutting edge bioengineering and environmental engineering research fields, such as tissue engineering and metabolic engineering. BES has also led the formation of interagency coordination and collaboration partnerships in these fields, including the Multi-Agency Tissue Engineering Science (MATES) working group ( and the Metabolic Engineering Working Group ( The NSF/DARPA/NIH Biophotonics Partnership ( is another joint effort initiated by BES.

A major portion of the research and education funded through BES is built on the output from ongoing revolutionary developments in the biological and information sciences. For example, genomics is an entirely new resource for a wealth of information that will enable important engineering advances in the medical, biotechnology, and environmental arenas, all within the scope of BES. These engineering advances will result in direct and significant improvements in the health and environmental welfare of society.

The budget request of $38.45 million will support the high-emphasis research areas listed above and other core research. In addition, $2.17 million will be redirected to:

  • Increase support related to the NSF Biocomplexity in the Environment (BE) priority area, with particular emphasis on materials use science and engineering by $1.0 million for a Directorate total of $3.69 million. BES will also provide $2.0 million for related research through its core programs;

  • Increase support for the Nanoscale Science and Engineering priority area by $1.67 million for a total of $5.42 million, with particular emphasis on biosystems at the nanoscale; and

  • Increase support for ultra-high-capacity optical communications and networking technologies by $500,000 for a total of $1.0 million, with particular emphasis on telemedicine and potentials for enhancing homecare.

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