Research into critical national issues at forefront of NSF’s FY2017 budget request

national science foundation
NSF's FY17 budget request includes investments to support critical national issues.

National Science Foundation (NSF) Director France A. Córdova today outlined how President Obama’s fiscal year (FY) 2017 request for NSF supports research into critical national issues, including clean energy technologies, food sustainability, disaster response and education. The FY2017 budget requests $8 billion, an increase of about 6.7 percent, or about $500 million, over the enacted FY2016 budget.

“This budget proposes priorities that count on robust funding. It allows NSF to remain one of the country’s leaders in funding research, development and — most importantly — the people who are our innovators and discoverers,” Córdova said.

Funding priorities for FY2017 include research that addresses issues of major scientific and societal importance. For example:

  • Clean Energy Technologies would receive $512 million, an increase of $141 million over FY2016 in support of Mission Innovation, a landmark commitment made by 20 countries at the recent Paris climate negotiations. The increase would double governmental clean energy research and development investment over five years.
  • Understanding the Brain would receive $142 million in FY2017. This initiative seeks to enable scientific understanding of the full complexity of the brain, in action and in context.
  • Innovations at the Nexus of Food, Energy and Water Systems (INFEWS) would receive $62 million. This investment aims to understand, design and model the interconnected food, energy and water systems. INFEWS is an interdisciplinary research effort that incorporates all areas of science and engineering and addresses the natural, social and human-built factors involved.
  • Risk and Resilience would receive $43 million. This is a research portfolio addressing the nation’s need for resilience in response to disasters — both natural and man-made — through both core programs and focused activities.
  • NSF INCLUDES (Inclusion Across the Nation of Communities of Learners that have been Underrepresented for Diversity in Engineering and Science) would receive $16 million. It aims to develop a scalable, national initiative to increase the preparation, participation, advancement and contributions of those who have been traditionally underserved and/or underrepresented in the STEM enterprise.

The president’s FY2017 budget includes $400 million in new, one-time mandatory funding. These funds will bolster the fundamental, curiosity-driven inquiry that is the agency’s principal contribution to the nation’s science and technology enterprise. Special focus will be on advancing computational- and data-intensive areas, principally through support of early career investigators.

In her budget presentation, Córdova highlighted how NSF investments in basic research fuel discoveries and innovations, which help drive the U.S. economy and keep the United States strong and secure.