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Photo of Arden Bement

Dr. Arden L. Bement, Jr.
National Science Foundation

National Science Foundation FY 2010 Budget Request to Congress
Arlington, VA
May 14, 2009

(As Prepared)

I am pleased to present highlights from the National Science Foundation's budget for FY 2010. With this budget, the President makes it absolutely clear that science and engineering research and education are vital to the nation's future.

As global competition and global challenges both accelerate, America needs bold efforts to sustain our leadership in science and technology. Together with our partners in the science and engineering community, NSF leads research and education well beyond the frontier, searching for knowledge and ideas that will define the next scientific revolution and pursuing the talent to take us there.

In FY 2010, NSF is requesting $7.045 billion, an increase of 8.5 percent over FY 2009. That puts NSF on track to double our budget over the next decade and to realize the President's Plan for Science and Technology.

NSF will invest $390 million in three key programs to strengthen America's science and engineering workforce. Within the President's first term, we will triple the number of new Graduate Research Fellowships to support young students with outstanding potential to contribute to science and engineering. The number of new fellowships will rise from 1,228 in 2009 to 1,654 in 2010. Through our flagship CAREER program, we will expand support for exceptionally promising early career college and university researchers and educators, those most likely to become academic leaders of the 21st century. And we will increase the Advanced Technology Education program to develop the high-tech workforce needed to grow America's economy and provide quality jobs for more Americans.

Funding for research will jump 11 percent across all NSF Directorates and Offices. We will allocate $92 million to expand opportunities for researchers to pursue high-risk, transformative research, reaching beyond today's frontier into unexplored territory. The extraordinary outcomes that transformative research promises -- new paradigms, entirely new fields, even a revolution in the way we conduct science and engineering -- will fuel American innovation in today's fast-paced, technology-intensive world.

NSF has a long history of success in supporting research with far-reaching impacts on the U.S economy and the well being of Americans. NSF helped pioneer the computer and communications revolution and now supports 84 percent of the nation's academic research in the computer sciences. Investments in networking and information technology research reach $1.11 billion in the 2010 budget, an overall increase of 11 percent. Research in large-scale networking, high-end computing, human-computer interaction, and the social, economic and workforce aspects of advanced computing and communications technologies receive the largest increases.

NSF has also played a pivotal role in the emerging field of nanotechnology. Our investment in the interagency National Nanotechnology Initiative will increase by 6.5 percent, to a total of $423 million. This includes an investment of $30 million in research on the environmental, health and safety implications of nanotechnology.

Many years of creative exploration and discovery have laid the groundwork for addressing critical challenges facing the nation today. Two of these -- climate change and clean energy -- are the focus of significant new and enhanced investments in 2010.

Building on a $299 million investment in the Climate Change Science Program, NSF will invest $198 million in interdisciplinary climate research. Research will address ecosystem vulnerability, the carbon cycle, ocean acidification, abrupt climate change, dynamics of water in the environment, and weather extremes. Further refinement of climate models will improve prediction of impacts on decadal and regional scales, while research in the economic, social and behavioral sciences will improve understanding of how humans interact with the changing environment. The results of this research will strengthen the scientific basis for designing effective adaptation and mitigation strategies.

Charting an environmentally sustainable future will take many minds and a willing public. In 2010, NSF will launch a Climate Change Education Program to broaden climate learning, from K-12 to the graduate level, and to increase the public's understanding of climate change and its impacts.

As part of the President's New Energy for America plan, NSF will join with the Department of Energy to increase public awareness of the benefits of clean energy and inspire the next generation of clean energy scientists and engineers. NSF will continue to mount a robust research program to address the fundamental scientific and engineering challenges that still plague next-generation energy systems. Funding for NSF energy-related research and education programs will reach approximately $300 million in 2010.

NSF also invests in research to meet other national needs. Homeland security activities increase by 2.2 percent to $386 million for research to protect critical infrastructure and defend against catastrophic threats. Funding for cybersecurity research and education jumps by 8.6 percent to about $127 million, $40 million of which will support research in usability, theoretical foundations, and privacy in support of the Comprehensive National Cybersecurity Initiative.

The world-class equipment and facilities that NSF supports are essential for progress in discovery and learning. Building on substantial past investments, NSF will move forward on a portfolio of major facilities, including the Advanced Laser Interferometer Gravitational Wave Observatory, the Atacama Large Millimeter Array, and the IceCube Neutrino Observatory, the new Advanced Technology Solar Telescope, and the Ocean Observatories Initiative.

NSF is committed, for all investments, to broaden participation so that all Americans can achieve their potential and contribute to the nation's well being. The EPSCoR program, which aims to expand research participation to all states and regions, will increase by 10.6 percent.

We will continue to strengthen our partnerships with other agencies, with industry and with partners around the world. Contemporary research at the frontier is characterized by how it draws on and contributes to advances in many fields.

We need research and education in every scientific field to resolve America's greatest challenges -- in energy, environment, economy, security and health. With a steady eye on the frontier, NSF will continue to support basic research across all fields and education at all levels to ensure that America remains a global leader in science and technology.