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NIST Gets Funding Increase

Obama gives national standards body an 8% increase in operating cash.

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Obama gives national standards body an 8% increase in operating cash.

The National Institute of Standards and Technology has received more funding for this fiscal year.

NIST received $819 million in the Fiscal Year 2009 Omnibus Appropriations Act, signed by President Obama on March 11. That amount, for the fiscal year ending Sept. 30, marks an increase of 8.3% over the previous fiscal year.

NIST said it will spend $472 million on Scientific and Technical Research Services, which focuses mainly on laboratory research. It includes $3.475 million in congressionally directed projects. Another $172 million will be used for the construction of research facilities. Of that, $44 million will fund congressionally directed projects and $30 million will go toward a competitive construction grant program.

Another $175 million will fund Industrial Technology Services. That includes $110 million for the Hollings Manufacturing Extension Partnership. The MEP's nonprofit, university and state-based centers work to bridge productivity gaps for manufacturers, identify opportunities for growth, and encourage technology deployment through 59 affiliated organizations. The organizations help manufacturers grow and streamline operations, increase productivity, and improve efficiency. MEP centers receive one-third of their operations funding from NIST. States, regional partners, and manufacturers' fees pay for the remainder of the funding.

The appropriations bill also contains $65 million for NIST's Technology Innovation Program, which invests in research and development to promote innovation. NIST will work out the details of how it spends the money by mid-April.

NIST is also getting $610 million through the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act. The stimulus package provides $180 million for a competitive grant program for scientific research buildings. It provides another $20 million transfer from the Department of Health and Human Services for standards-related research on health IT, as well as a $10 million transfer from the Department of Energy to develop a comprehensive framework for a national smart electricity grid.

Source: InformationWeek