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AAU Applauds Increase in Defense Basic Research Funding for FY15

July 21, 2014

CONTACT: Barry Toiv, [email protected], 202-408-7500

Following is a statement by Hunter Rawlings, President of the Association of American Universities (AAU), on the five-percent increase in basic (6.1) Defense research funding approved by the Senate Appropriations Committee on July 17. For detailed information on Defense research and development funding, see AAU’s DOD budget chart.

We are pleased that the Senate Appropriations Committee’s FY15 Defense bill increases investments in Department of Defense (DOD) basic research by five percent over FY14. We commend the Committee for taking another step toward closing the innovation deficit and will work to sustain this funding level as the bill advances and is ultimately reconciled with the House bill.

DOD basic research innovations have contributed significantly to our nation’s national security and economic progress. Innovation and technological advances have helped make our military the best-equipped and most effective in the world. For DOD, they are a force multiplier, but they would be impossible without the basic research that came first. Past DOD basic research investments have led to such innovations as lasers, radar, fiber optics, infrared technologies, stealth technology, and advanced materials. Moreover, DOD basic and applied research has had a major economic impact, leading to breakthroughs in industries vital to our nation’s competitiveness, such as computing, information technology, telecommunications, and manufacturing.

Sustaining DOD basic research investments is vital to maintaining our nation’s military effectiveness as well as its economic competitiveness. We thank the Senate Appropriations Committee for this important action.

This year’s appropriations process and the threat of sequestration next year should make clear how important it is that Congress and the President achieve a long-term budget agreement. Such an agreement should eliminate sequestration and substantially revise the discretionary spending caps. It also should address long-term deficits by reforming the entitlement programs that contribute most to the problem – in ways that do not harm the most vulnerable – and by reforming taxes to spur economic growth and raise additional revenues.

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The Association of American Universities is a nonprofit association of 60 U.S. and two Canadian preeminent public and private research universities. Founded in 1900, AAU focuses on national and institutional issues that are important to research-intensive universities, including funding for research, research and education policy, and graduate and undergraduate education. Follow us on Twitter at @AAUniversities.