OMB Lays Out Research Priorities for Agencies

OMB and the White House science office have laid out the administration’s priorities for agencies to reference when drawing up their R&D spending proposals for the fiscal 2019 budget. Areas of emphasis include:

“While military R&D should serve the national defense first and foremost, the administration recognizes the contributions of military R&D to the development of tremendously useful civil applications. Accordingly, we encourage programs with dual-use potential to be leveraged for federal non-military advancements.”

“Agencies should invest in R&D to increase the security and resilience of the nation’s critical infrastructure from both physical threats and cyber-attacks . . . Special attention should be paid to R&D that can support the safe and secure integration into society of new technologies that have the potential to contribute significantly to American economic and technological leadership.”

“Emerging technologies such as autonomous systems, biometrics, energy storage, gene editing, machine learning, and quantum computing, may well have the highest potential to drive the economy and create entirely new industries. Agencies should continue, and expand where necessary, efforts to focus on basic research in these areas and reduce funding overlaps with industry in later-stage research, development, and deployment of technologies.”

“Development of domestic energy sources should be the basis for a clean energy portfolio composed of fossil, nuclear, and renewable energy sources. Agencies should invest in early-stage, innovative technologies that show promise in harnessing American energy resources safely and efficiently.”

“Agencies should prioritize R&D focused on solutions for an aging population, as well as on combating drug addiction and other public health crises. Alongside foundational biological research, agencies should support investments that develop tools and technologies with the potential to open new areas of discovery.”