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tional Science Board (NSB) reports that over the last decade funding for the US academic research instrumentation and facilities has not kept pace with funding in the rest of the world.26 Nations that are relative newcomers to science and technology research—South Korea, China, and some European nations, for example—are investing heavily in instrumentation and facilities that serve as a major attraction to scientists from throughout the world. NSB recommends increasing the share of the NSF budget devoted to such tools from the current 22 to 27%.

NSB also cites reports by other organizations that point to major deficiencies in federal research infrastructure including instrumentation and facilities.27 These organizations include:

  • The National Science and Technology Council, which in 1995 stated that $8.7 billion would be needed just to rectify then-current infrastructure deficits.28

  • NSF, which estimated in 1998 that it would cost $11.4 billion to construct, repair, or renovate US academic research facilities.29

  • NIH, which in 2001 estimated health research infrastructure needs at $5.6 billion.30

  • NASA, which reported a $900 million construction backlog in 2001 and said that $2 billion more would be needed to revitalize and modernize the aerospace research infrastructure.31

  • The DOE Office of Science, which reported that in 2001 more than 60% of its laboratory space was more than 30 years old and identified more than $2 billion in capital investments it needed for the next decade.32

  • NSF directorates, which, when surveyed in FY 2001, estimated additional infrastructure needs of $18 billion through 2010.33


Ibid., p. 2.


Ibid., pp. 18-19.


National Science and Technology Council. Final Report on Academic Research Infrastructure: A Federal Plan for Renewal. Washington, DC: White House Office of Science and Technology Policy, March 17, 1995.


National Science Foundation, Division of Science Resources Statistics. Science and Engineering Research Facilities at Colleges and Universities, 1998. NSF-01-301. Arlington, VA: National Science Foundation, October 2000.


National Institutes of Health, Working Group on Construction of Research Facilities. A Report to the Advisory Committee of the Director, National Institutes of Health. Bethesda, MD: National Institutes of Health, July 6, 2001.


Jefferson Morris. “NASA Considering Closing, Consolidating Centers as Part of Restructuring Effort.” Aerospace Daily 200(1)(October 17, 2001).


US Department of Energy. Infrastructure Frontier: A Quick Look Survey of the Office of Science Laboratory Infrastructure. Washington, DC: US Department of Energy, April 2001.


National Science Board. Science and Engineering Infrastructure for the 21st Century: The Role of the National Science Foundation. Arlington, VA: National Science Foundation, 2003. P. 19.

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