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NSB Mulls Spending NSF's $3B

Photonics.com
Feb 2009
ARLINGTON, Va., Feb. 23, 2009 – Deliberations about spending and oversight of the National Science Foundation’s (NSF) $3 billion portion of the economic stimulus package are expected today at the National Science Board’s (NSB) first meeting of the year.

Under the $787 billion American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009, signed into law by President Barack Obama on Feb. 17, the NSF will receive an additional $2.5 billion for research and related activities, with the stipulation that $300 million be used solely for the Major Research Instrumentation (MRI) program and $200 million for modernizing academic research facilities. The NSF also will receive $400 million for major research equipment and facilities construction and $100 million for education and human resources.

MRI assists colleges and universities, museums, science centers and other nonprofit organizations with the acquisition or development of shared research instrumentation that is usually too costly and/or not appropriate for support through other NSF programs. The MRI program accepts proposals requesting more than $2 million (up to a maximum of $4 million) for the acquisition of a single instrument. Proposals of $2 million or less can be for instrument development or for acquisition of a single instrument, a large system of instruments, or multiple instruments that share a common or specific research focus.

The NSB said deliberations about spending and oversight of the NSF’s appropriation from the economic recovery package will be high on the agenda for its two-day meeting. Also on the agenda is a discussion of the NSB’s Sustainable Energy Task Force.

The NSB is a 24-member policymaking body for the NSF and advises the president and Congress on science and engineering issues. The board’s members, selected from industry and universities for their eminence in research, education or public service, are appointed by the president and confirmed by the Senate. The NSF director is an ex-officio member. Members serve six-year terms; one-third of the board is appointed every two years.

Other science appropriations made under the stimulus package include $580 million to the National Institute of Standards and Technology, with $220 million given for scientific and technical research and services and $360 million for construction of research facilities; and $1 billion to NASA.

For more information on the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act, visit: www.recovery.gov

For more information on the NSB, visit: www.nsf.gov/nsb/about/index.jsp


GLOSSARY
photonics
The technology of generating and harnessing light and other forms of radiant energy whose quantum unit is the photon. The science includes light emission, transmission, deflection, amplification and detection by optical components and instruments, lasers and other light sources, fiber optics, electro-optical instrumentation, related hardware and electronics, and sophisticated systems. The range of applications of photonics extends from energy generation to detection to communications and...
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