New funding allocations are being announced for federal agencies

  • July 30, 2021

There has been a lot of activity at the federal level lately regarding funding allocations. The Biden Administration has been increasing the annual amounts for several programs, most notably health-related research programs in light of the recent pandemic. This equates to increased funding for research and development which allows more small businesses to apply for and hopefully attain funding for their research and development projects. In early July, an Executive Order on Promoting Competition in the American Economy was issued. This executive order will affect businesses large and small, but it is anticipated small businesses, in particular, will see improved opportunities for growth especially in the sectors of agriculture, science, technology, and healthcare.

COVID-19 funding allocations

In FY 2020, The NIH Common Fund received $30 Million from the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act, 2020. Some of these funds were spent on testing, public service and information, and PPE, but much of it was also spent on research for innovative diagnostics and therapeutics. With the signing of the 2021 FY American Rescue Plan, an additional 400B funding allocation was set aside for school safety, vaccination administration, and research for transmission, therapeutics, and diagnostics, as well as innovative ideas for improved antiviral sanitation and remote infrastructure for distance participation in school, work, conferences, etc.

Federal agency funding

The NIH, the parent institution behind the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), Biomedical Advanced Research and Development Authority (BARDA), Center for Disease Control (CDC), and the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID) is anticipated to see its annual budget increase to $52 billion this fiscal year to finance research on COVID-19 among other widespread medical and social issues such as the opioid epidemic, HIV, and more.

The Department of Education is also anticipating an increase, but that will not be actualized until 2022. While a significant increase in funding was provided in 2021 by the American Rescue Plan to address existing inequities increase due to the pandemic, President Biden’s fiscal year 2022 budget proposes $36.5 billion in formula grants for Title I schools, a $20 billion increase from the 2021 enacted level. This can provide research funding to any program or product that seeks to increase diversity in STEM, improve distance learning, improve out-of-school programming, tutoring, or assist students with gaps in learning from closures that occurred during 2020 due to COVID-19.

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