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FY96 S&T BUDGET HIGHLIGHTS
This budget continues a tradition of support for science and technology on the basis of
an American tenet: knowledge is the key to our future.
(1) Within a tight S&T budget, we have made room for a 3.5 percent increase in basic research. Fundamental research is a crucial
investment for our future economic well being and for providing the quality of life that
Americans rightfully expect, providing the highest rate of return of any federal investment.
This growth has not been easy to achieve. One third of the nation's basic research budget is in
mission agencies -- DOE, DOD, NASA -- that are under especially heavy fiscal pressure.
Support for academic research is increased 7%. Investments at universities
yield a particularly high return, in part because the investment adds both to the knowledge base
and to training the next generation of scientists and engineers. The National Science
Foundation budget reflects an increase of $174 million -- an 8% increase in research & related
activities -- to refocus on this investment in fundamental research.
The DOE User Facility Initiative provides $100 million for increased use
by academia and industry of underutilized state-of-the-art research facilities.
This activity will have to rely on peer and merit review
even more to make sure that our scarce research dollars are spent on the best research by the best
scientists, for the greatest return on the American taxpayers' investment.
(2) This budget is focused on harnessing S&T to solve real problems and
create real opportunities for all Americans. As exciting or as important as it may be,
it's not enough to say we're close to finding missing matter in the universe, or that we're
gaining a better understanding of the nature of carbon sinks in the tropical rain forests. To the
majority of Americans, these aren't the central issues. That is why the President's budget also is focused on providing what the public expects in addition to new knowledge from their investments in science and technology, things such as:
Continued economic growth and job creation;
National security, both in defense and competitiveness;
Education and training for ourselves and for our children in the new technologies that
hold the key to our economic future;
Better health, safe food and water, and a healthy environment.