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Integrative Activities $110,610,000

The FY 2003 Budget Request for Integrative Activities (IA) is $110.61 million, an increase of $4.10 million, or 3.8 percent, over the FY 2002 Current Plan of $106.51 million.

(Millions of Dollars)

   

FY 2001
Actual

FY 2002
Current
Plan

FY 2003
Request

Change

Amount

Percent

Integrative Activities

97.64

106.51

110.61

4.10

3.8%

Total, Integrative Activities

$97.64

$106.51

$110.61

$4.10

3.8%

Integrative Activities supports emerging cross-disciplinary research and education efforts, recognizing the importance of these types of integrative efforts to the future of science and engineering. In FY 2003, IA provides funding for Major Research Instrumentation, Science and Technology Centers, Science of Learning Centers, and the Science and Technology Policy Institute. In addition, funding is requested for the Partnerships for Innovation program and Disaster Response Research Teams.

In FY 2003, Integrative Activities will support the following programs:

(Millions of Dollars)

 

FY 2002
Current Plan

FY 2003
Request

Percent
Change

Major Research Instrumentation

75.90

54.00

-28.9%

Science and Technology Centers

26.61

26.61

0.0%

Science of Learning Centers

0.00

20.00

N/A

Science and Technology Policy Institute

4.00

4.00

0.0%

Partnerships for Innovation1

[11.00]

5.00

N/A

Disaster Response Research Teams

0.00

1.00

N/A

Total, Integrative Actitivities

$106.51

$110.61

3.8%

Totals may not add due to rounding.
1Partnerships for Innovation are funded at a level of $11.0 million in the Education and Human Resources Account in FY 2002.

Major Research Instrumentation

The Major Research Instrumentation (MRI) program is designed to increase access to state-of-the-art scientific and engineering equipment for research and research training in U.S. academic institutions. This program seeks to foster the integration of research and education by providing instrumentation for research-intensive learning environments. In FY 2003, NSF will provide $54.0 million for this ongoing program to support the acquisition and development of research instrumentation in academic institutions.

Science and Technology Centers

NSF created the Science and Technology Centers (STC) program in 1989. STCs are university-based research efforts that foster a new collaborative culture among researchers and educators at all levels in academia, industry, government laboratories, and other public and private organizations. The centers provide opportunities to explore challenging and complex research problems that often require interdisciplinary expertise and high-risk approaches, access to state-of-the-art instrumentation and facilities, and a commitment of high levels of support for sustained periods of time.

  • STCs have an impressive record of research accomplishments, research training, contributions to preK-12 education, and timely transfer of knowledge and technology from the laboratory to industry and other sectors. Traditional barriers among disciplines and among university, governmental and industrial laboratories have been reduced, creating a new mode of leadership and management in research and education.

  • STCs have engaged the nation's intellectual talent, drawing from its full human diversity in the conduct of research and education activities; enabled the training of undergraduate students, graduate students, and postdoctoral fellows; involved scores of industrial researchers in basic research; and spawned new companies, products and jobs.

  • STCs also create partnerships and programs that transfer knowledge in service to society, especially with respect to new research areas, promising new instrumentation, and potential new technologies. For example, adaptive optics technology is being developed to investigate how far the correction of visual aberrations can extend the limits of human vision through customized contact lenses and improved laser refractive surgical procedures.

Within the $26.61 million provided in FY 2002, $25.62 million will fund a new cohort of STCs, in topics across the range of disciplines supported by NSF; and $990,000 is included for administrative support (e.g., annual site visits, contractor support costs, meetings, workshops). An estimated six centers will be funded. Funds for this new cohort of centers will be made available through the planned phase-out of funding for mature centers, which were supported through the disciplinary programs. The Science and Technology Centers to be awarded in FY 2002 are currently in the final stages of review and until identified, are included in the FY 2003 request for Integrative Activities at a level of $26.61 million.

Science of Learning Centers

NSF's investment in Science of Learning Centers (SLC), set to begin in FY 2003, will build on the Foundation's support for learning research in multiple disciplines including biology, psychology, education, neuroscience, cognitive science, linguistics, computer and information science, robotics, mathematics and statistics, engineering, the physical sciences, and the social and behavioral sciences. SLCs will be organized around a unifying research focus and an effective implementation strategy that will achieve all three of the SLC principal goals: (1) advancing the understanding of learning, through research on the learning process, the context of learning, and/or learning technologies; (2) strengthening the connections between science of learning research and educational and workforce development, in a manner that mutually advances both; and (3) building effective collaborative research communities with sufficient resources and organizational capacity to respond to new educational and workforce challenges, and capitalize on new research opportunities and discoveries.

NSF expects to fund this program at $20.0 million in FY 2003, providing funds for three or four centers and a number of catalyst projects. At this level, the SLC program could support a diverse portfolio of projects, providing leadership across a broad range of science and engineering approaches to science of learning research.

Science and Technology Policy Institute

The Science and Technology Policy Institute (STPI) is a federally-funded research and development center established by Congress in 1992 to support the complex task of devising and implementing science and technology policy.

The institute provides analytical support to the Office of Science and Technology Policy (OSTP), to identify near-term and long-term objectives for research and development and to identify options for achieving those objectives. The analytical work of STPI is focused on informing policy decisions within three overlapping themes:

  • conduct of fundamental science and the development and use of technology;
  • contributions of science and technology to achieving major societal goals; and
  • choice of policies that influence the support, conduct, and use of science and technology.

NSF provides budgetary support, as well as financial and management oversight, for STPI. The RAND Corporation, the present contractor, operates the institute as a separate entity. The FY 2003 request includes $4.0 million for STPI analytic activities, which is unchanged from FY 2002. The institute also operates the RaDiUS data system that tracks federal research and development activities and spending. As required by the Federal Acquisition Regulations (FAR), during FY 2002, NSF, in consultation with OSTP, will conduct a comprehensive review of the institute, including an assessment of its performance, viability and continuing need.

Partnerships for Innovation

The Partnerships for Innovation program is intended to forge connections between new knowledge created in the discovery process to learning and innovation, while broadening the participation of people and institutions in NSF activities. For the purposes of this program, innovation is defined as the transformation of knowledge into the products, processes, systems and services that fuel economic development, create wealth and generate improvements in the national standard of living. The goals of the Partnerships for Innovation Program are to:

  • stimulate the transformation of knowledge created by the national research and education enterprise into innovations that create new wealth, build strong local, regional and national economies and improve the national well-being;
  • broaden the participation of all types of academic institutions and all citizens in NSF activities to more fully meet the broad workforce needs of the national innovation enterprise; and
  • catalyze or enhance enabling infrastructure necessary to foster and sustain innovation in the long-term.

Appropriate activities for projects in the program include the planning and/or implementation of new models for innovation that connect scientific and technological discovery to use through knowledge transfer; education and training activities that explicitly address the workforce needs of the innovation enterprise; and the development and deployment of new tools or mechanisms that support the innovation infrastructure. They focus on creating a critical level of innovation activity in a technology area, an industry sector, or a geographical region.

The Partnerships for Innovation program began in FY 2000 with a budget of $8.50 million. In FY 2001, the program was funded at $10.0 million; and in FY 2002, at $11.0 million. The PFI program received funding in FY 2000 through FY 2002 from within the Education and Human Resources Account.

Included in the Integrative Activities request for FY 2003 is $5.0 million for Partnerships for Innovation. Awards will support promising partnerships among academe, state/local/federal government and the private sector that will explore new approaches to support and sustain innovation.

Disaster Response Research Teams

NSF is including a request of $1.0 million in FY 2003 to establish Disaster Response Research Teams that will respond to events such as terrorist attacks. These teams will conduct rapid, post-event studies that will provide invaluable data and insights into disaster response. NSF's broad base of support for fundamental science and engineering provides the underlying capability that enables the nation to respond rapidly and aggressively in time of national need. For example, NSF assisted the Quick Response Research Program of the Natural Hazards Research and Applications Information Center to fund studies of the aftermath of the September 11, 2001 terrorist attacks in New York City and Washington, D.C.

 
  Last Modified: Sep 17, 2004
 
   

 

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Last Updated:
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