Bush Administration Looking to Science & Technology to Improve Amerians' Economic and Homeland Security

February 6, 2002

Washington D.C., 05 February 2002

As the President's budget makes clear, the Administration looks to science and technology to play essential roles in improving the economic and homeland security of all Americans.

"President Bush recognizes how important technology is, has been and will be to our nation's long-term economic and national security and prosperity," said Commerce Secretary Don Evans. "The President's proposed investments, combined with the technology policy initiatives already announced and under way, make for a robust and aggressive technology agenda."

The 2003 budget request includes unprecedented investments in research and development, major increases in the resources available to the Patent & Trademark Office, significant funding for bioterrorism research and mitigation, funding for critical technology infrastructure improvements, among other relevant items.

The budget proposal demonstrates the central role the Department of Commerce (DOC) will play in keeping America safe and working, especially in the areas of Science & Technology. From the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) to the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office, from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) to the National Telecommunications & Information Administration and Bureau of Export Administration, DOC is clearly the go-to agency for much of the science and technology work ahead. These offices are actively supporting President Bush's call to marshal the nation's technology resources to help the United States win the war on terrorism, strengthen homeland protections, revitalize the economy and create new jobs.

"Considering the obvious budget pressures and competing demands for resources, we are very pleased the President is putting so much confidence and investing so heavily in the capabilities of the Department of Commerce," said Under Secretary for Technology Phil Bond, who also serves as Chief of Staff to Secretary Donald Evans. "The outstanding scientists and technologists at Commerce will continue to make our nation safer, stronger, and proud of their public servants."

The President's FY2003 budget of $8.1 million supports initiatives by the Under Secretary for Technology and the Office of Technology Policy: to establish a business environment that allows American innovators to flourish, educate and train the American workforce so that we remain on the leading edge of knowledge creation and application, foster the development and rapid deployment of new technologies.

The President's FY 2003 budget request for the National Institute for Standards and Technology (NIST) is $577.5 million and it supports ongoing efforts to strengthen homeland and economic security. Currently, NIST is conducting more than 75 projects that support law enforcement, military operations, emergency services, airport and building security, cyber security, and efforts to develop new types of security technologies. The budget request includes a $5 million increase to assist NIST in expanding its efforts to help improve homeland security. In addition, a $52.7 million increase is requested to develop cutting-edge science and technology infrastructure needed to strengthen and safeguard America's economic foundations and security capabilities now and in the future.

A total of $26.4 million in additional funding is requested to address requirements across the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration's (NOAA) organization that have been identified as critical to the homeland security effort. The majority of this funding is devoted to improvements in technology, backups in the event of power outages or security for technology operation centers. NOAA intends to fund critical technology infrastructure improvements that will bolster NOAA's crucial national security assets with this budget.

The President's FY 2003 budget request for the National Telecommunications and Information Administration (NTIA) is $61.4 million, including an increase of $3.3 million for a set of initiatives to improve NTIA's spectrum management and telecommunications research capabilities. NTIA's 2003 budget includes $2.7 million to upgrade research facilities that test new technology applications for radio frequency spectrum use. These funds also support NTIA's overhaul of the interagency process for managing spectrum and establishes a paperless system for spectrum issue resolution.

The President's FY 2003 budget request for the United States Patent and Trademark Office is $1.365 billion. The 21.2% increase allows the agency to spend a 100% of its statutory fees plus an additional $45 million to hire 950 patent examiners and transform trademarks to a fully electronic system by 2004. The agency now has the resources to improve patent and trademark quality and reduce pendency. The budget request also includes a one-time surcharge of $207 million in order to fulfill the agency's business plan and to meet the President's priorities.

The President's FY 2003 budget request for the Bureau of Export Administration (BXA) is $103.3 million. BXA's wide-ranging responsibilities include coordinating the Department's overall critical infrastructure protection and homeland security efforts. The President's budget request continues funding for BXA's Critical Infrastructure Assurance Office ("CIAO"), which is responsible for promoting federal initiatives and public-private partnerships across industry sectors to protect the nation's critical infrastructures. The budget request includes $20 million to create within CIAO the Homeland Security Information Technology and Evaluation Program, which will develop initiatives to promote the coordinated use of information technology for homeland security purposes.

For detailed budget descriptions, please visit the link for each agency at www.doc.gov

US Department of Commerce

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