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FY07 Continuing Resolution and IT R&D Action Alert

Context: The Democrats have announced that funding for FY 07 will be frozen at either FY 06 levels or the House-passed appropriations level, whichever is lower (FY 06 numbers are lower for ACI-related funding). However, the Democrats are prepared to make "limited adjustments" to the CR to address "important policy priorities" which CRA believes should include ACI funding. The President announced the American Competitiveness Initiative as part of his January 31, 2006, "State of the Union Address," then put NSF, NIST and DOE Office of Science on a path to double in funding in 10 years by including significant increases for the agencies in his FY 07 budget. Congressional appropriators agreed (and the House approved), including funding for the President's request in their appropriations bills for FY 2007 that have now officially been thrown out.

Our "Ask": We're asking Members of Congress to act to ensure that the ACI-related increases contained in the appropriations bills drafted by the House and Senate Appropriations committees are protected in the FY07 Continuing Resolution. The increases provided to the National Science Foundation, National Institute of Standards and Technology, and Department of Energy Office of Science, should be "exceptions" in the Continuing Resolution and funded at the levels approved in their respective appropriations bills.


Find out who your Member of Congress is at Write Your Representative/; you can get office phone and fax numbers for your Representative from the House of Representatives member site. For the U.S. Senate, you can find phone and fax numbers via US Senate Contact Information.

Sample Letter-Change the text in brackets to personalize the letter

Replace the text in brackets to reflect your details. Please once again fax copies of your letters to your two Senators and your institution's congressman in the House of Representatives. Please also fax or e-mail a copy of your correspondence to Melissa Norr, CRA Policy Analyst, at 202-667-1066. Having a portfolio of letters of support from our member institutions will aid us greatly in making the case for more support of IT R&D on the Hill.


President's Letter: The American Competitiveness Initiative commits $5.9 billion in FY 2007 to increase investments in research and development, strengthen education, and encourage entrepreneurship. Over 10 years, the Initiative commits $50 billion to increase funding for research and $86 billion for research and development tax incentives. Federal investment in research and development has proved critical to keeping America's economy strong by generating knowledge and tools upon which new technologies are developed. My 2007 Budget requests $137 billion for Federal research and development, an increase of more than 50 percent over 2001 levels.

ACI and IT R&D NSF would continue to be the lead agency in the NITRD program in the President's plan, making the largest contribution at $904 million in FY 2007. NSF's Computer and Information Science and Engineering directorate (CISE) would continue to be home of the largest share of that investment with a budget of request of $527 million, an increase of 6.1 percent over CISE's FY 2006 current plan. The CISE investment is spread relatively equally between its Computing and Communication Foundations activity ($123 million in the request, an increase of 16.5 percent over FY 2006), Computer and Network Systems ($163 million, an increase of 15.2 percent), and Information and Intelligent Systems ($119 million, an increase of 15.1 percent). The double-digit increases to these programs are made possible by both the 6.1 percent overall increase for the directorate and funding freed up as grants under the old Information Technology Research (ITR) program - which officially ended in FY 2004 - continue to expire. ITR expenditures in FY 2007 would decline by 17 percent to $122 million under the current plan.

The overall NSF contribution to Cybersecurity and Information Assurance would also grow significantly under the President plan. The budget request boost NSF's Cyber Trust program $10 million to $35 million in FY 2007, bringing NSF's total contribution to information assurance research to $97 million (an increase of 26 percent).

Proposed investments in NSF's Office of Cyber Infrastructure account for $182 million of NSF's NITRD share in FY 2007, an increase of $55 million, or 44 percent, over FY 2006. The great bulk of that increase -- $50 million - would begin the acquisition of a new petascale computing system.

The remainder of NSF's investments in NITRD programs would come from the other research directorates, which on average received about the same level of overall increase as did CISE (about 6 percent vs. FY 2006). One notable exception is the Engineering directorate, which would grow 8.0 percent in the President's request, largely due to the establishment of a new $20 million Improvised Explosive Device Detection research program. Freeman said that program should provide opportunities for computer science researchers, especially those in artificial intelligence and sensors, to compete for funding.

The Department of Energy's contribution to the NITRD effort would grow to $387 million in FY 2007 in the President's plan, an increase of nearly 33 percent over FY 2006. The focus of much of the DOE SC investment will be on leadership-class computing efforts. The President's budget calls for $103 million in DOE SC towards the goal of deploying petascale computing systems by the year 2010. The Advanced Scientific Computing Research Program would be funded at $319 million in FY 2007, an increase of $84 million, or 36 percent, over FY 2006.