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SPIE Responds to President’s FY19 Budget Request

A Mixed Bag for Science Funding in the President’s FY19 Budget

14 February 2018

BELLINGHAM, Washington, USA ­— On Monday President Trump released the administration’s FY2019 budget request. While some science agencies saw a request for significant cuts in funding, others were spared due to an addendum including additional funding for a limited set of Administration priorities.

The addendum recognizes that additional funding for FY2019 exists as a result of the two-year budget deal which was signed into law last week, raising the budgetary caps.

Despite the uneven budget request for the sciences, it is important to keep in mind that Congress ultimately has control of appropriated funds, and last year rejected the President’s call for cuts.

Below are some relevant highlights in the President’s budget request:

  • DOE Office of Science: Request near level funding (with addendum)
  • NSF: Request near level funding (with addendum)
  • Department of Defense Science & Technology: Request for 2% decrease
  • National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration: 20% cut requested
  • NIH: Request near level funding
  • U.S. Geological Survey: 21% cut requested
  • NASA Science Mission Directorate: Request for 2% increase with addendum
  • NIST: Request for a 33% cut

Optics and photonics as an enabling technology has a role to play in many of the Administration’s overarching objectives such as increasing national security, building smart infrastructure, expanding manufacturing in the U.S., and addressing the healthcare needs of our veterans and an aging population. SPIE will continue to engage with the Administration and Congress to inform them of the many ways that federal funding of science is an investment in the future prosperity of the United States and vital for economic growth and workforce development.

“We just celebrated a terrific week at our annual Photonics West conference, connecting with our industry’s commercial and academic leaders,” says SPIE CEO Eugene Arthurs. “Technology drives our economy, and innovation doesn’t happen in a vacuum. Research – and federal funding for that research – is vital to our economy and critical to the U.S. maintaining its place on the science industry stage. It is clear to us that worldwide investment in science and technology is driving growth; we want to make sure that the U.S. is a big part of that growth as well.”

“Investment in scientific research and discovery is critical to maintaining our position as scientific leaders on the global stage,” says Chair of SPIE’s Engineering, Science, and Technology Policy Committee Jason Mulliner. We believe the U.S. government has a key role in ensuring that fundamental and potentially life-saving research continues, and we hope the current administration will recognize this important role of government.”

SPIE works nationally and internationally to support the industries created by our optics and photonics community and urges our members and constituents to become involved in shaping and informing policy. As part of coordinated effort with other professional societies, SPIE, as part of the National Photonics Initiative (NPI) will be in Washington DC April 24-25 advocating for optics and photonics on the annual Capitol Hill Visits Day.

About SPIE

SPIE is the international society for optics and photonics, an educational not-for-profit organization founded in 1955 to advance light-based science, engineering, and technology. The Society serves nearly 264,000 constituents from approximately 166 countries, offering conferences and their published proceedings, continuing education, books, journals, and the SPIE Digital Library. In 2017, SPIE provided more than $4 million in support of education and outreach programs. 

Daneet Steffens
Public Relations Manager
+1 360 685 5478