Research & development

NNI Releases Supplement to the President's 2016 Budget

The President’s 2016 Budget provides $1.5 billion for the NNI, a continued investment in support of the President’s priorities and innovation strategy. Cumulatively totaling more than $22 billion since the inception of the NNI in 2001 (including the 2016 request), this support reflects nanotechnology’s potential to significantly improve our fundamental understanding and control of matter at the nanoscale and to translate that knowledge into solutions for critical national needs.

What Kinds of Publicly Funded R&D Projects Fail?

SBIR projects are less likely to fail if research teams are smaller, have more experience and include women investigators, according to a new working paper by Albert N. Link and Mike Wright. The authors also found that larger SBIR awards lower the chances that a project will be discontinued before completion. While the study focuses on projects supported through federal SBIR programs, the findings could have implications for other kinds of public R&D support.

Durbin: Boost research funding $100 billion by ending sequestration caps

A $100 billion boost in research funding would result from a bill backed by Sen. Dick Durbin, D-Ill. Durbin announced Monday he plans to introduce the legislation to lift federal budget caps — known as sequestration — in order to increase funding for basic scientific research, citing China’s outpacing the United States in such spending during the past decade.

UT among four schools to launch National Science Foundation I-Corps

The primary goal of NSF I-Corps is to foster entrepreneurship that will lead to the commercialization of technology that has been supported previously by NSF-funded research. The goals include using techniques developed to validate each commercial property in a recognized, effective way with customer and business model development.

Physical scientists offer outside-the-box idea for funding U.S. basic research

San Antonio, Texas - At the annual March Meeting of the American Physical Society (APS) here this week, a pair of physicists floated one new idea: Congress should create a $100 billion national endowment to help fund basic research. The endowment, which they’re calling the National Research Bank, isn’t an official proposal of APS. Rather, says Michael Lubell, a physicist at the City College of New York who is pushing the idea, “we’re trying to start a conversation.”

Congrats Young Scientists, You Face The Worst Research Funding In 50 Years

In an appearance before the House of Representatives Committee on Appropriations, Dr. Francis Collins offered a familiar warning to lawmakers considering future appropriations for scientific research. Investments are falling relative to inflation, he said, forcing changes likely to snowball into the future.

Universities fear the federal research funding pipeline is withering

University officials from around the country fear that a key engine of U.S. innovation and economic power is in danger of stalling: federal investment in basic research. The nation needs to spend more, they say, in pursuit of discoveries with unknown and long-term payoffs. Sometimes, they say, lawmakers focus too much on research with short-term goals. The time it takes for basic research to yield a payoff can be 10, 15, or 20 years. That translates to five or 10 congressional elections.

Scientists Develop Electrocatalysts That Could Aid Long-Term Space Exploration

A new technology developed by scientists at the University of Delaware could put us one step closer to Mars and farther. This team created a silver electrocatalyst that converts carbon dioxide to carbon monoxide at a rate of 92 percent efficiency, which in turns releases oxygen.

New paper-like material for lithium-ion batteries could boost electric vehicle range

Researchers at the University of California, Riverside’s Bourns College of Engineering have developed a novel paper-like material for lithium-ion batteries. It has the potential to boost by several times the specific energy, or amount of energy that can be delivered per unit weight of the battery.

CT, IL, NH, TX Budget Proposals Support STEM, Workforce, Research

Governors in Connecticut, Illinois, New Hampshire, and Texas revealed their budget proposals, with commonalities around STEM education, workforce development, and university research initiatives. Governors in two states, New Hampshire and Texas, made growth in the innovation economy a specific priority area of their proposed budgets.

NSF director calls for more funding to spur US innovation

Scientists know more about the entire universe and galaxy than they do the brain, which is why the National Science Foundation (NSF) wants to sink $144 million into understanding the most complex organ in the human body.

Editorial: Science has a problem

Lecturing people isn't the answer. Alan Leshner, the outgoing CEO of the American Association for the Advancement of Science, made that clear last week. Scientists instead need to engage the public in a forthright conversation about the importance of science to society, he said. Federal funding for R&D in areas such as energy and medicine has dropped 10 percent in the past six years — and these are areas people consider important.

Seven myths about scientists debunked

Myth 1: Researchers are paid by their research institutes - A research-focused academic will be provided with excellent colleagues, space, core technical support and often some money for lab maintenance. But not always a salary. Tenure is rare and is more likely to occur in universities but usually with teaching commitments.

When scientific research can’t get federal funds, private money steps in

Philanthropy should not be seen as a replacement for federal dollars, observers say. All giving from foundations and individuals amounts to less than $4-billion a year, according to the Science Philanthropy Alliance, a group that works to increase private giving for research. That figure is a fraction of the $60-billion in science grants made by the Departments of Defense and Energy, the National Institutes of Health, and the National Science Foundation, a federal agency.

Investing in America’s Future through R&D, Innovation, and STEM Education: The President’s FY 2016 Budget

The Budget provides $67 billion for basic and applied research (the “R” in R&D), a $2 billion increase from 2015 enacted levels. The Budget increases total funding for three key basic research agencies (the National Science Foundation, the Department of Energy Office of Science, and the National Institute of Standards and Technology laboratories) by $0.7 billion over the 2015 level to $13.8 billion. The Budget provides $31.3 billion to support research at the National Institutes of Health, an increase of $1 billion over 2015 enacted. The Budget also supports increases for basic research at other Federal science agencies, including the U.S. Department of Agriculture.

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