The White House has released a supplement to President Biden’s fiscal year (FY) 2022 budget that looks to increase funding for research and development (R&D) projects conducted under the Networking and Information Technology Research and Development (NITRD) Program.
The supplement includes a total budget request of $7.8 billion for Federal agencies’ NITRD-related R&D for FY2022 – an increase of about 19.6 percent compared to the $6.5 billion requested for FY2021.
The NITRD Program consists of 25 member agencies and more than 60 participating agencies to coordinate Federal R&D investments in advanced digital technologies. Each year, the White House is required to release a budget supplement for NITRD programs. This year marks the 30th anniversary of NITRD, which was established by the High-Performance Computing Act of 1991.
“As the Nation’s primary source of federally funded IT R&D, NITRD fosters the transition of artificial intelligence, high-performance computing (HPC), and data science into medical breakthroughs and equitable mitigation of climate change; and enables R&D in advanced networking, cybersecurity, and other IT research innovations that strengthen our national security and protect our economy,” Eric Lander, director of the White House’s Office of Science and Technology Policy, said in the supplement.
For the first time, the budget supplement also includes budgetary and programmatic information of the National Artificial Intelligence Initiative Act of 2020. The supplement was also accompanied by a FY2022 Federal Cybersecurity R&D Strategic Plan Implementation Roadmap, as required by the Cybersecurity Enhancement Act of 2014.
This year, NITRD agencies requested $1.7 billion for non-defense investment in AI R&D for FY2022, an increase of approximately 11.2 percent compared to the $1.5 billion requested for non-defense AI R&D for FY2021.
NITRD agencies also requested a total of $232 million for Advanced Wireless Networks (AWN) R&D, an increase of approximately 22.8 percent compared to the $189 million requested for AWN R&D for FY2021.
Notably, this year’s budget supplement looks to almost double the amount of cybersecurity and privacy (CSP) funding for the Department of Homeland Security (DHS), which houses the Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency. Specifically, the budget requests $55.4 million for CSP R&D in FY2022 for DHS, compared with $26.9 million in funding for FY2021.