White House Releases Annual R&D Priorities Memorandum
On August 14, the White House released an annual memorandum outlining research and development (R&D) priorities for Fiscal Year (FY) 2022. The memorandum includes five R&D budgetary priorities aimed at ensuring the U.S. remains a global leader in science and technology (S&T) discovery and innovation. The five top priorities include: (1) American public health security and innovation, (2) American leadership in the Industries of the Future and related technologies, (3) American security, (4) American energy and environmental leadership, and (5) American space leadership.
The Administration’s FY 2022 R&D priorities are similar to the previous year’s with a new focus on health R&D given the current state of the global COVID-19 pandemic. The memorandum states, “a foundation of the Nation's ability to respond to COVID-19 is the capacity of government, the private sector, academia, and nonprofits to make substantial and complementary investments in R&D and effectively partner to create the discoveries and innovations.” In addition to focusing specifically on COVID-19 research in the first priority area “American Public Healthy Security and Innovation,” each of the subsequent priorities share specific focus on COVID-19. For instance, in the Industries of the Future section, it calls specific focus to how Advanced Manufacturing can help fight COVID-19, stating “an area of particular importance is the development of nano and advanced materials and processes in the biomedical arena to support the Nation's response to COVID-19, such as the development of effective antimicrobial materials and polymers for additive manufacturing and prototyping of critical medical devices.”
Industries of the Future continue to be a strong R&D priority for the Administration. Artificial intelligence, quantum information sciences, advanced communication networks/SO, advanced manufacturing, and biotechnology are all given particular focus in the memorandum, as they have been in previous years as well. The memorandum also lists R&D priorities with crosscutting actions, including building the S&T workforce of the future, optimizing research environments and results, technology transfer, and leveraging data.