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September 30th, 2007
Nanotechnology part of 2009 U.S. R&D budget priorities
The White House is now seeking to place its stamp on federal scientific spending during the Bush administration's final year in office, according to a memo released last Friday by Public Employees for Environmental Responsibility (PEER). The budgetary priorities announced for Fiscal Year 2009 display a preference for engineering projects from space exploration to hydrogen fuel development, stress domestic and military security and, with minor exceptions, discourage new public health or environmental initiatives.
The memo, entitled "FY 2009 Administration Research and Development Budget Priorities," is signed by John Marburger, the Director of the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy and Stephen McMillen, then acting Director of the Office of Management and Budget, and directed to "Heads of Executive Departments and Agencies." Distributed in mid-August, the memo lays down guidance for preparing the proposed budget that the President will unveil next February, including —
* Increased funding for "physical sciences and engineering" research contained in President Bush's "American Competitive Initiative" as well as heightened investment in defense research, homeland security efforts and the "President's space exploration vision";
* Emphasis on "high-leverage basic research to spur technological innovation…and job growth" as well as other "high-payoff activities" such as nanotechnology and genetic medicine; and
* A commitment to monitoring "global climate variability" and developing "advanced energy technologies that cost-effectively reduce greenhouses gases."
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