There is also a significant federal R&D budget for homeland security. For FY 2006 the total is nearly $4.4 billion across all agencies. The Department of Homeland Security itself has a $1.5 billion R&D budget, but only a small portion—$112 million—is earmarked for basic research. The rest will be devoted to applied research ($399 million), development ($746 million), and facilities and equipment ($210 million).11
Business organizations, trade associations, military commissions, bipartisan groups of senators and representatives, and scientific and academic groups have all reiterated the critical importance of increased R&D investment across our economic, military, and intellectual landscape (Table 6-1). After reviewing the proposals provided in the table and other related materials, the committee concluded that a 10% annual increase over a 7-year period would be appropriate. This achieves the doubling that was in principle part of the NSF Authorization Act of 2002 but would expand it to other agencies, albeit over a longer period. The committee believes that this rate of growth strikes an appropriate balance between the urgency of the issue being addressed and the ability of the research community to apply new funds efficiently.
The committee is recommending special attention to the physical sciences, engineering, mathematics, and the information sciences and to DOD basic research to restore balance to the nation’s research portfolio in fields that are essential to the generation of both ideas and skilled people for the nation’s economy and national and homeland security. Most assuredly, this does not mean that there should be a disinvestment in such important fields as the life sciences or the social sciences. A balanced research portfolio in all fields of science and engineering research is critical to US prosperity.
As indicated in the National Academies report Science, Technology, and the Federal Government: National Goals for a New Era, the United States needs to be among the world leaders in all fields of research so that it can
Bring the best available knowledge to bear on problems related to national objectives even if that knowledge appears unexpectedly in a field not traditionally linked to that objective.
Quickly recognize, extend, and use important research results that occur elsewhere.
American Association for the Advancement of Science. R&D Funding Update March 4, 2005—Homeland Security R&D in the FY 2006 Budget. Available at: http://www.aaas.org/spp/rd/hs06.htm1.