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  • Raise the level of S&T spending to 3% of DOD spending6 and restore DOD’s historical commitment to basic research by directing 20% of its S&T budget to long-term research.7

  • Increase the budget for mathematics, the physical sciences, and engineering research by 12% a year for the next 7 years within the research accounts of DOE, NSF, NIST, DOD.

  • Within DOD, set the balance of support for 6.1 basic research more in favor of unfettered exploration than of research related to short-term needs.

Funding for R&D for homeland security is a much more recent enterprise. The majority of US homeland security R&D funding actually occurs outside DHS (see Table NHS-1).8 After annual increases of more than $200 million in each of its first 3 years, the FY 2006 budget request for DHS R&D slowed to a 3.6% increase, or $44 million, for a total of $1.3 billion. To date, both the House and the Senate have essentially retained the requested levels, but each has made changes in how the funds would be allocated. Efforts to consolidate all DHS R&D programs into the department’s Directorate for S&T are scheduled to be completed in FY 2006.9

Basic research is at present a relatively small portion of the federal homeland security R&D portfolio. The priority is instead on efforts to use S&T to develop and field new methods and measures to increase security as quickly as possible.10 The primary exception is the biodefense program, in particular the very large National Institutes of Health research program.

The question of the balance across the homeland security R&D portfolio is an open issue. If more funding for basic research is a goal, options for the federal government include the following:

  • Commit to increase the portion of support that DHS devotes to basic research, perhaps by setting targets to be achieved within 5-10 years as the most immediate needs are satisfied.

  • Undertake a comprehensive review to identify opportunities across


Ibid., p. 41.


Council on Competitiveness. Innovate America. Washington, DC: Council on Competitiveness, 2004.


American Association for the Advancement of Science. “Table 4: Federal Homeland Security-Related R&D by Agency.” March 2005.


American Association for the Advancement of Science. “R&D Funding Update on R&D in the FY 2006 DHS Budget.” 2005.


For a comprehensive examination of the potential contributions of science and technology, see National Research Council. Making the Nation Safer: The Role of Science and Technology in Countering Terrorism. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press, 2002. Guides to the additional reports and current projects of the National Academies related to homeland security may be found at

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