Statement by Arden L. Bement, Jr., Director, National Science Foundation, on the American Recovery & Reinvestment Act of 2009
The National Science Foundation is humbled and honored by the recognition of the Foundation's role in stimulating the American economy with its inclusion in the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act. The $3 billion provided to NSF will go directly into the hands of the nation's best and brightest researchers at the forefront of promising discoveries, to deserving graduate students at the start of their careers, and to developing advanced scientific tools and infrastructure that will be broadly available to the research community. With both long-term and short-term investments in basic science, the United States is poised to continue its leadership in science-based innovation.
NSF's task is to keep science and engineering visionaries focused on the furthest frontier. Our aim is to recognize and nurture emerging fields, and to prepare the next generation of scientific and engineering talent and leaders. When you add world-class facilities to advance transformative research to this effort, you have the recipe for success that has been a hallmark of NSF and the scientific enterprise for nearly 60 years. America's prosperity, global competitiveness and the well being of our citizens depend, more than ever before, on the steady stream of new ideas and the highly skilled science, technology, engineering and mathematics talent that NSF supports.
During the ARRA signing ceremony, President Obama said that "this investment will ignite our imagination once more, spurring new discoveries and breakthroughs that will make our economy stronger, our nation more secure and our planet safer for our children." NSF will ensure that this eloquent statement translates into reality. It seemed especially appropriate that the Act was signed, and these remarks expressed, at the Denver Museum of Nature and Science, a long-time recipient of NSF funding aimed at the very thing the President hoped for, namely, "to ignite our imagination once more" in science and innovation.
The National Science Foundation (NSF) is an independent federal agency that supports fundamental research and education across all fields of science and engineering. In fiscal year (FY) 2016, its budget is $7.5 billion. NSF funds reach all 50 states through grants to nearly 2,000 colleges, universities and other institutions. Each year, NSF receives more than 48,000 competitive proposals for funding and makes about 12,000 new funding awards. NSF also awards about $626 million in professional and service contracts yearly.
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