Stimulating Science | Chemical & Engineering News
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Web Date: January 16, 2009

Stimulating Science

Congress includes science funds in package to halt economic tailspin
Department: Government & Policy

The House Appropriations Committee on Jan. 15 released the details of its $825 billion economic stimulus package, complete with substantial funding for R&D, including that authorized under the America Competes Act.

The bill will give the National Science Foundation $3 billion and the National Institutes of Standards & Technology $300 million. The Department of Energy will receive $1.9 billion for basic research and improvements to the national labs. The package also includes funding for other science-related agencies. The National Aeronautics & Space Administration and the National Institutes of Health are set to receive $600 million and $2 billion, respectively.

The stimulus package also provides tens of billions of dollars to encourage new U.S.-based energy technologies that can support future business growth. For example, it includes $11 billion to create a reliable, efficient electricity grid. It also allocates $2 billion to support energy efficiency and renewable energy research, $2 billion to fund loans and grants for advanced battery R&D, and nearly $9 billion to promote home energy efficiency and weatherization programs.

Scientific organizations including the American Chemical Society, which publishes C&EN, welcomed the R&D funding. "ACS is truly pleased that the new Congress and Administration have recognized again the importance of innovation funding to U.S. economic competitiveness," says Caroline Trupp-Gil, ACS's assistant director of advocacy.

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