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Update on Research Funding via Federal Agencies July 27, 2022

Strategic Intelligence
July 29, 2022

Research Development's Strategic Intelligence team monitors the federal budget and funding landscape and produces this memo on a bi-weekly basis to share information that may impact ASU research. 

Science Policy Legislation

Compromise Version of COMPETES Act Set for Final Votes  

The combined bill, colloquially called “CHIPS+,” appropriates $52 billion for semiconductor R&D and manufacturing and lays out ambitious expansion plans for the National Science Foundation, Department of Energy, and National Institute of Standards and Technology. It also creates a semiconductor investment tax credit that is estimated to cost about $22 billion over five years. 

U.S. innovation bill clears major Senate hurdle with research provisions intact | Science | AAAS  

A massive bill to bolster U.S. innovation took a big step toward becoming law this week after a bipartisan coalition of senators defeated an attempt to strip away most of its research components. The latest version of the U.S. Innovation and Competition Act (USICA) also includes new language requiring the National Science Foundation (NSF) and the Department of Energy (DOE) to allocate their research dollars more evenly across the country.

Multi-Agency Research and Development Priorities for the FY 2024 Budget 

 On 7/22/22, the White House released its Multi-Agency Research and Development Priorities for the FY 2024 Budget, providing guidance to federal agencies as they formulate their budget requests for fiscal year 2024, which are due for release in February 2023. Potentially significant changes include new references to nuclear fusion and geothermal energy as priority clean-energy technologies, while a reference to biofuels has been dropped. The memo also adds a subsection on international cooperation, and there is an entirely new section on the Cancer Moonshot initiative. 

COSSA Releases Analysis of FY 2023 House Appropriations Bills  

Many of the proposals in the House Democrat’s bills are considered dead on arrival in the highly divided Senate, especially with respect to defense spending levels. The path to completion is anything by straightforward.  However, one thing that could help lawmakers get to a deal on FY 2023 funding before the end of the year is the upcoming retirements of notable Appropriators, who will be looking to secure their legacies through enactment of the FY 2023 spending bills, presumably by the end of calendar year 2022. These dynamics coupled with the upcoming midterm elections will make for an interesting fall and ending to the FY 2023 appropriations process. 

Academies Seeking Reviewers for National Climate Assessment 

The National Academies is soliciting nominations of technical reviewers for the Fifth National Climate Assessment (NCA5), which is expected to be available this fall. The committee is seeking experts across a wide range of fields, including physical and biological systems, agriculture, infrastructure and transportation, human health and social systems, equity and environmental justice, climate adaptation and resilience, and science communication. Individuals that have contributed to NCA5 are not eligible. Nominations are due Aug. 1.

U.S. Monkeypox Research Priorities: Speeding Science for Impact  

Led by OSTP, the Monkeypox Research Priorities Team, comprised of experts from across the U.S. Government, outlined a research plan to speed science and enable the U.S. and global monkeypox outbreak response. Leveraging ongoing efforts and agency collaboration, the U.S. Government has identified $140 million to support high-priority projects such as serosurveys, epidemiological and clinical observational studies, molecular epidemiology, ecological studies, global trainings, and early-stage medical countermeasure development.  

National Science Foundation (NSF) 

U.S. and U.K. Launch Innovation Prize Challenges in Privacy-Enhancing Technologies to Tackle Financial Crime and Public Health Emergencies  

On 7/20/22, the U.S. and U.K. governments launched a set of prize challenges to unleash the potential of privacy-enhancing technologies (PETs) to combat global societal challenges. Announced at the Summit for Democracy last year, innovators from academia, industry, and the broader public will have the opportunity to participate in up to two separate tracks (improving detection of financial crime and forecasting an individual’s risk of infection during a pandemic) as well as the option to design one generalized solution that works for both scenarios for broader applicability. These prize challenges – supported by NSF’s CISE and the new TIP directorates – illustrate the synergy of foundational research and translational activities in moving research to practice.

Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA)

DARPA to Host Proposers Day for Muons for Science and Security Program 

The Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency will hold a Proposers Day on Aug. 5 for a four-year program that seeks to build a compact source of subatomic particles called muons to support national security and scientific applications. The Muons for Science and Security program intends to use laser plasma acceleration to initially develop 10 giga-electronvolt particles in the space of tens of centimeters and come up with scalable processes to generate conditions that can build muons exceeding 100 GeV, DARPA said Friday. 

Department of Energy (DoE) 

The US government is developing a solar geoengineering research plan | MIT Technology Review 

The 2022 federal appropriations act, signed by President Biden in March, directs his Office of Science and Technology Policy to develop a cross-agency group to coordinate research on such climate interventions, in partnership with NASA, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), and the Department of Energy.  

 Isotope Supply Chain at Risk from War in Ukraine | American Institute of Physics 

DOE Office of Science Director Asmeret Asefaw Berhe briefed the House Science Committee last month on the department’s efforts to mitigate isotope supply chain disruptions through its Isotope Program, which conducts R&D on production processes and makes certain isotopes that are in short supply or lack commercial production lines. 

 Environmental Protection Agency 

Spending bill with $11.5 billion for EPA passes in House  

On 7/20/22, the U.S. House passed a six-bill spending package for fiscal year 2023, one of which is a $44.8 billion FY 2023 Interior-EPA spending bill that would fund EPA with $11.5 billion. The EPA funding included in the larger bill remained the same as approved by the House Appropriations Committee earlier this month. The funding levels proposed for EPA water programs remained the same as the subcommittee’s initial version of the bill. The Senate is expected to offer its own EPA spending plan later this summer. Lawmakers from both chambers will eventually reconcile any differences between the two proposals and vote on a final federal FY23 appropriations bill.  

National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) 

Latest NASA Authorization Bill Supports Artemis, But Omits Cantwell’s HLS Provision  

The revised version of the NASA authorization bill being considered by the Senate right now is quite different from what passed previously. For example, although it still strongly supports the Artemis initiative to return humans to the Moon, it no longer authorizes $10 billion over the next five years for a second Human Landing System. Now part of the CHIPS+ bill, it could pass the Senate before the August recess. 

NASA safety advisers warn ISS transition plans on “precarious trajectory”  

NASA’s safety advisers warn that the agency’s efforts to transition from the International Space Station to commercial space stations without a gap are on a “precarious trajectory.”  At a July 21 meeting of the Aerospace Safety Advisory Panel, members said they were concerned that commercial stations whose development is being supported by NASA were unlikely to be ready in time before the ISS is retired at the end of the decade, and that those efforts suffered from insufficient budgets. Additionally, a report by NASA’s Office of Inspector General last November, just before NASA made its commercial space station awards, warned a commercial station “is not likely to be ready until well after 2030” and that NASA’s schedule for have one or more ready before 2030 “is unrealistic.”  

US Department of Agriculture (USDA)

House advances FY 2023 funding boost for USDA  

On 7/20/22, the US House advanced a package of spending bills that would fund through fiscal year 2023 a number of federal agencies, including USDA, EPA and the Army Corps of Engineers.  The package now heads to the Senate, where negotiations will likely result in reduced allocations. The appropriations legislation includes $27.2 billion in discretionary spending for USDA, a 7.6% increase from FY 2022. The new total is also $350 million below what President Joe Biden wanted the department to receive.