White House Multi-Agency Science and Technology Priorities for the FY 2017 Budget

July 10, 2015
Washington, D.C.


The White House's Office of Science and Technology Policy (OSTP) and Office of Management and Budget (OMB) have relesed a memorandum outlining the Administration' s multi-agency science and technology priorities for formulating FY 2017 Budget submissions to the OMB. According to the memo, '....Agencies should label the sections of their budget submissions that address priorities described in the memo.  Agencies engaged in complementary activities should consult with each other during the budget planning process to coordinate resources, maximize impact, and avoid inappropriate duplication, and they should include summaries ofthese discussions in their OMB budget submissions.   Agency proposals aligned with multi-agency R&D priorities and demonstrating interagency coordination are more likely to be prioritized in FY 2017 Budget deliberations....'

Some relevant excerpts from the memo are cross-posted here from WhiteHouse.gov:

In the FY 2017 Budget, agencies should balance priorities to ensure that resources are adequately allocated for agency-specific, mission-driven research, including fundamental research, while focusing resources, where appropriate, on the following multi-agency research activities that cannot be addressed effectively by a single agency.

• Global climate change. Agencies should advance the goals and objectives of the 2012-2021
U.S. Global Change Research Program (USGCRP) Strategic Plan, as well as the complementary science agenda that underpins the President's Climate Action Plan. Agencies should prioritize activities that foster the development and use of actionable data, information, and related tools needed to prepare for and reduce climate-related risks and should prioritize investments that support technical assistance for community climate-preparedness efforts.

• Earth observations. Earth-observation data are instrumental to services that protect human life, property, the economy, and national security, and advance understanding the Earth as a system. Federal agencies should advance the goals of the 2014 National Plan for Civil Earth Observations. Agencies are encouraged to accelerate the development and demonstration of innovative approaches for observations, including technology for low-cost satellites and disaggregated instrumentation. In addition, space weather observations and R&D are essential to address the growing societal needs for accurate and timely space weather information. Agencies should prioritize investments in space weather science and preparedness according to the 2015 National Space Weather Strategy and Action Plan.

• Ocean and Arctic issues. Member agencies of the National Ocean Council should give priority to investments in science and technology that supp01i the National Ocean Policy Implementation Plan and responsible ocean stewardship, including observations, modeling, and data accessibility needed to support ecosystem-based management, as well as to advance understanding and inform responses to current and future climate impacts on oceans, Great Lakes, and surrounding communities. Agencies should also advance the objectives of the Interagency Arctic Research Policy Committee Arctic Research Plan (FY 2013-201 7) and the newly-created Arctic Executive Steering Committee, which coordinates efforts on Arctic science, resource management, conservation, indigenous peoples, and international engagement through the 2015-17 U.S. Chairmanship of the eight-nation Arctic Council.

• R&D for informed policy-making and management. A diverse range of agency missions (e.g. natural resource management protecting health and the environment; global health security needs to prevent, detect, and respond to emerging infectious diseases) benefit from R&D that strengthens the scientific basis for decision-making. In order to maximize the societal benefits of R&D investments, research planning and design should be guided by stakeholder and user engagement. Both mission-centered agencies and R&D agencies should focus on creating userdriven information and tools that enable the translation of scientific observations to decisionmaking frameworks.

Agencies should support the R&D infrastructure (e.g. facilities, platform technologies, IT, digital tools) needed to ensure that U.S. science and engineering remain at the leading edge, and leverage resources from other agencies, state and local governments, the private sector, and international partners. Proposals for development, construction, and operations costs for new facilities must be fully justified and balanced against funding for ongoing programs and operations of existing facilities. In addition, agencies should take steps to ensure that underused existing facilities are made available to additional users through transparent and competitive methods.