In its newly released budget for 2012, the Obama Administration recommends boosting NIST's overall budget above $1 billion for the first time, a nearly 17% increase from NIST's FY 2010 $857 million figure. The big bump up includes nearly $160 million in new funds for NIST's core laboratory budget, including support for programs in nanoscale manufacturing, advanced energy materials, and novel time and electrical measurement capabilities.
The proposal also recommends spending nearly $23 million on "interoperability standards" for emerging technologies, such as health information standards, cloud computing, and smart grid technologies. Some of those efforts were launched with Stimulus Act funding. Moving them into the core labs budget "is a key transition request to get those on a stable appropriations footing," says NIST Director Patrick Gallagher.
Elsewhere in NIST's budget, the Administration proposes spending $12.3 million on a new Advanced Manufacturing Technology Consortia program, aimed at backing precompetitive industrial research, much as SEMATECH did among computer electronics companies.