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The FY 2003 Budget Request for the Experimental Program to Stimulate Competitive Research (EPSCoR) is $75.0 million, $5.0 million or 6.3 percent, below the FY 2002 Current Plan of $80.0 million. Innovation Partnership Activities are transferred in FY 2003 from the EHR Appropriation to the Integrative Activities budget line in the Research and Related Activities Appropriation.

(Millions of Dollars)


FY 2001

FY 2002

FY 2003




Innovation Partnership Activities1






Experimental Program to Stimulate Competitive Research






Total, EPSCoR






1The Partnerships for Innovation program is funded at $5.0 million in FY 2003 within Integrated Activities in the Research and Related Activities Appropriation.

EPSCoR is a State-NSF partnership to stimulate sustainable improvements in R&D competitiveness through the development and utilization of science and technology (S&T) resources that reside in a state's major research universities. EPSCoR emphasizes local direction and administration by broad-based statewide governing committees; program accountability at all levels; and non-federal cost-sharing investments. EPSCoR currently operates in twenty-one states and the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico. The states are: Alabama, Alaska, Arkansas, Hawaii, Idaho, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Maine, Mississippi, Montana, Nebraska, Nevada, New Mexico, North Dakota, Oklahoma, South Carolina, South Dakota, Vermont, West Virginia, and Wyoming. EPSCoR attempts to develop nationally competitive R&D infrastructures within participating states by promoting partnerships among state government, universities, and the private sector in strategic research areas with high growth potential. Examples of EPSCoR supported projects include the following:

EPSCoR supports an Integrative Research Program in Marine Genomics in South Carolina that is designed to analyze the shrimp host response to infection and stress at the level of gene expression, using a functional genomics approach. Although shrimp are susceptible to viral diseases that affect both commercially aquacultured and wild shrimp in the Atlantic coastal fishery, little is known about their immune systems and how they fight viral infections. Over 40 immune-function genes in both Pacific and Atlantic white shrimp have been identified, advancing our knowledge and permitting direct studies of shrimp immune responses to viral infection. Atlantic shrimp are the staple of the shrimp fishery industry in South Carolina.

At Kansas State University, EPSCoR supported the establishment of a new precision measurement research laboratory, the Non-Contact Precision Measurements Laboratory, for the development of a variety of non-contact sensing technologies for application in manufacturing environments. The project is developing practical sensors for a variety of manufacturing applications to solve modern industrial manufacturing inspection problems and reduce measurement times in production. This work will reduce waste in manufacturing by quickly identifying errors at the time of occurrence.

The FY 2003 Request of $75.0 million represents a $5.0 million decrease from FY 2002. This decrease is necessary to redirect funds to the Math and Science Partnership, graduate student support, and other priorities for FY 2003. Funding in EHR is supplemented in FY 2003 by approximately $30.0 million in the Research and Related Activities Appropriation, bringing total EPSCoR support to approximately $105.0 million. The FY 2003 Request level will enable NSF to provide continuing support for the following activities:

Research Infrastructure Improvement (RII) - RII are 36-month awards of up to $9.0 million total for research infrastructure improvements in S&T areas identified as critical to the state's future R&D competitiveness. A 50 percent non-federal state match is required over the term of the award. RII awards are expected to be made to the states of Idaho, Kentucky, Mississippi, Nevada, New Mexico, North Dakota, Oklahoma, South Carolina, and West Virginia during FY 2002.

Co-funding - Co-funding efforts at NSF involve joint support of research and education proposals submitted by researchers from EPSCoR states to the Foundation's ongoing grant programs as a means of accelerating the movement of EPSCoR researchers and institutions into the mainstream of federal and private sector R&D support. During the period FY 1998-2001, researchers from EPSCoR states received 640 awards totaling $234.50 million through this mechanism. NSF research programs provided $143.70 million of this total. Co-funding within EPSCoR will absorb the majority of the $5.0 million decrease in the FY 2003 EPSCoR budget.

Outreach - NSF program officers and staff coordinate a comprehensive outreach program to universities, industry, and state government in EPSCoR states to inform researchers and S&T administrators of NSF policies, programs, and procedures. Since the program's inception in FY 1998, NSF staff made over 600 visits to EPSCoR states to foster greater participation by institutions and researchers in other NSF-supported activities.

  Last Modified: Sep 17, 2004


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