Overall, R&D funding for 2019 increased 6% compared with 2018, according to analysis by the American Association for the Advancement of Science. The biggest winner was USDA, which saw its R&D budget increase by nearly 12%. Much of that increase will go to fund intramural research and modernization of research facilities at the Agricultural Research Service. USDA’s extramural research program received a 4.5% increase. The NIH got a 5.4% hike, while DOE, NASA, and NSF saw more modest increases of about 4%. The Trump administration had requested major cuts to energy and environmental programs. Congress did not oblige and maintained funding for such programs at EPA, Commerce, and Interior. Scientific organizations and advocacy groups welcomed the end to the uncertainty over 2019 funding. They also urged lawmakers to shift attention to lifting budget caps on fiscal 2020 spending that would restrict future funding for science and research. “We know that major competitors such as China are rapidly increasing their investments in research, which is why the US needs to be relentless in its promotion and funding of scientific research,” Peter McPherson, president of the Association of Public and Land-grant Universities, said in a statement.
by Britt Erickson |
February 19, 2019