Cross-agency programs cut in federal budget update

On April 3, 2014, the Tech Office of Government and Community Relations held a budget update that covered how President Obama’s 2015 budget will affect the Tech community. While the December congressional budget deal allows stability in Tech’s budget, the meeting explained how budget goals would be more realistic rather than aspirational which the Office of Government and Community Relations claimed to be a disappointing request.

Despite a lack of new initiatives and competition for limited funds, the meeting claimed that R & D and basic research are still the top priorities. Over all, the presentation covered eleven different cross-agency priorities.

According to the spending cuts indicated in the FY 2015 President’s Budget Request, NASA Science will go down by 0.03% compared to FY2014, but larger cuts under the Department of Defense Science and Technology include Basic Research by 6.9%, Applied Research by 4% and DARPA Basic Research by 0.9%.

Compared to FY 2014, President Peterson requested increases for FY 2015 include 2.6% for the Department of Energy and 0.7% for National Institute of Health. The Administration states that innovation and commercialization are a key point of focus, but Tech must also comply with federal initiatives that include the Obama Administration Big Data, STEM education, cyber security and especially energy research.

“Energy research continues to be a high priority for President Obama to advance public goals in energy security, climate change, advance manufacturing, sustainability and innovation” said the Office of Government and Community and Relation. “The budget is also squeezed by Obama innovation models, Energy Innovation Hubs, Energy Frontier Research Centers, ARPA-E.”

Many officials at Tech believe that these budget changes are obstacles that need to be overcome in order to maintain Tech’s image as an institution of innovation, and many believe that Tech must simply adjust and continue to work hard and earn funding.

“As federal funding for research becomes less certain, Georgia Tech must be able to adapt in order to retain its competitive edge,” said Nathan Moon, co-chair of Policy@Tech and Research Scientist “Efforts by the Office of Government and Community Affairs and the information provided by Mr. Knotts assists the Tech community in remaining versatile and successful in these times.”