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FEDERAL FUNDING DATA 189 A Federal Funding Data As part of the development of this report, all federal government agencies that were known to fund plasma science were contacted and asked to provide funding information for FY 1989 to FY 1992. Appendix B contains the original letter of request in 1993 and the follow-up letter in 1994. Appendix C lists the agencies that were contacted. Unfortunately, little detailed information was provided except by the military research offices, the Office of Naval Research (ONR) and the Air Force Office of Scientific Research (AFOSR). The poor response was not primarily due to lack of effort on the part of program officers, but rather to the lack of coordination and identification in agencies. This lends further support to the recommendations made in this report. Illustrative is the effort at the National Science Foundation (NSF). There is no plasma branch at NSF, hence, no obvious coordinator for plasma science. One NSF staff member took the lead to act as an unofficial coordinator. He was able to pull together some information on funding, which illustrates many of the problems identified in this report. In January 1993, plasma science and technology was identified as existing in seven divisions and three directorates at NSF, with a total funding of $15.4 million. To expand the assessment, a key-word search was made of all 1989 grants (the latest year for which the appropriate database is available). This led eventually to identifying all grants having at least a 5% component of plasma science or technology. These represented $17.5 million in 6 directorates and 19 divisions, and were included in 60 program elements. The largest category was space plasma with 46% of the grants, followed by plasma technology with 30%
FEDERAL FUNDING DATA 190 and basic plasma science with 22%. The reviewer's conclusion was that "support for plasma science and technology at NSF is very thin."1 TABLE A.1 Plasma Science Funding (current million dollars)âAFOSR, ONR, DOE Agency FY 1989 FY 1990 FY 1991 FY 1992 Change 1989â1992 AFOSRa 6.5 6.27 6.08 6.38 -1.8% ONRb ~3.0 3.0 3.0 2.8 -7% DOE-AEPc 3.2 2.2 2.3 1.2 -63% DOE-ICFd 4.5 3.0 4.2 4.4 -2.2% Total ~17.2 14.5 15.6 14.8 -12% a Combines Life and Environmental Sciences with Physics and Electronics. b Assuming 3.0 for 1989. c Advanced Energy Projects, in BES. d Estimate of that portion of the program going to basic plasma science. TABLE A.2 Plasma Science Funding (current million dollars)âNASA Space Physics Program FY FY FY FY FY FY Change 1989 1990 1991 1992 1993 1994 1989â 1994 SR&T 18.8 20.3 20.0 19.6 19.5 19.4 +3.2% Dataa ~ 10 12.7 12.9 25.7 8.0 6.9 approx. -30% Note: SR&T = Supporting Research and Technology. a The 1989 number is approximate. The large increase in 1992 combines data analysis with nonplasma instrument costs, cameras, cosmic-ray instruments, and so on, for the Pioneer and Voyager missions. With the above identified weaknesses, Tables A.1 and A.2 present a picture of the problems of plasma science funding. The programs listed in Table A.1, which fund small efforts in basic science, have not kept up with inflation, which totaled 13% from 1989 to 1992,2much less expanded to match the potential of 1 "Plasma Science and Technology at NSF," prepared by Tim Eastman, NSF Atmospheric Sciences Division, May 10, 1993.
FEDERAL FUNDING DATA 191 the field. If the amounts listed in Tables A.1 and A.2 are combined with the approximately $8 million for space plasma identified at NSF, these areas receive about $40 million per year. TABLE A.3 DOE Funding for Magnetic Fusion (current million dollars) FY 1989 FY 1990 FY 1991 FY 1992 FY 1993 FY 1994 Change 1989â 1994 345 317 284 332 327 322 -6.7% The final area, magnetic fusion, is described in Table A.3. Although an order of magnitude greater than that for basic plasma science, the funding for magnetic fusion also has not kept up with inflation. 2 Using the consumer price index.
FEDERAL FUNDING DATA 192