Remarks of OSTP Director Arati Prabhakar at an Event on President Biden’s FY24 Budget
As Prepared for Delivery
Good morning. I’m Arati Prabhakar – I have the honor of serving as the President’s Chief Science and Technology Advisor and as Director of the White House OSTP.
Thanks to everyone in the room and everyone tuning in online.
We’re delighted to have so many of you here. You represent the millions of people across the country who make up America’s mighty science, technology and innovation ecosystem.
Today, I am glad to be joined by: OMB Deputy Director Nani Coloretti, NSF Director Sethuraman Panchanathan, NIST Director and Undersecretary of Commerce Laurie Locascio, and ARPA-H Director Renee Wegrzyn.
I’ll start by saying a few words and then I’ll turn to each of my colleagues.
President Biden says that a budget is an expression of values. And this budget is a clear statement of support for the core American value of investing in a better future.
In his budget request for fiscal year 2024, President Biden is proposing the largest ever budget for federal research and development — a $210 billion investment.
The reason behind this very significant commitment is simple: Science, technology and innovation are integral to achieving our country’s aspirations.
And our aspirations today are immense. Think about what we need to accomplish:
We need robust health and plentiful opportunity for every person in America.
We need to overcome the climate crisis.
We need a competitive economy that creates jobs that support families.
And we need to maintain global security and stability.
These are monumentally difficult tasks. And the purpose of American R&D is to make them possible—to open doors so we can step beyond the limitations of today into a better tomorrow.
Now we already know that when we invest in R&D, it can change the arc of the future. If you look around today, you can see how the fruits of prior R&D investments are changing people’s lives right now.
In rural and urban clinics, you will find people who are dramatically lower their cancer risk. Some are there for screening tests to catch any problem early. Others are getting the coaching they need to quit smoking. This is President Biden’s Cancer Moonshot at work.
Another example is people in every state buying electric vehicles and heat pumps, and communities across the country deploying wind and solar energy—accelerated by the Inflation Reduction Act and the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law, the biggest steps ever to meet the climate crisis.
And another example is school kids all across our country. They are looking at the James Webb images and then up at the stars. And they are musing about the origins of our universe.
This is the power of science, technology, and innovation. This is how America does big things together
Looking at the President’s $210 billion R&D budget request, you’ll see that it strengthens our current R&D system—and it makes the advances that we need for the challenges of our times.
Let me name some of the major components.
First of all, in aggregate, you’ll see over $100 billion for the basic and applied research that has been a hallmark of the American innovation enterprise and the envy of the world.
Because threats to global security are growing—you’ll see an increase in Defense Department efforts to move new capabilities from demos to fieldable prototypes and on to production and deployment.
You’ll see a continued strong commitment to health research at the National Institutes of Health—NIH. That includes robust support for President Biden’s Cancer Moonshot—to accelerate advances in cancer prevention, screening, and treatment—plus investments to address our mental health crisis.
We’re stepping up to mitigate and manage a shifting climate and build resilience, so you’ll see a historic investment in clean energy innovation—especially at the Department of Energy—and in climate science—at the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration—NOAA in the Commerce Department—and at NASA.
And you’ll see significant support in many of our research agencies for emerging technologies from artificial intelligence to biomanufacturing—the technologies that are creating the industries of our future.
This work requires R&D investments in many departments, including Defense to Energy to Agriculture to Transportation. And as you’ll hear shortly, NSF and NIST.
In today’s session, we want to highlight three shifts in the R&D portfolio. Innovations in innovation itself, so that we keep getting better at aiming at our great aspirations.
One is the National Science Foundation’s new Directorate for Technology, Innovation and Partnerships. TIP is boosting regional innovation and helping universities move basic research into commercialization.
The second is the Advanced Research Projects Agency for Health (ARPA-H). When President Biden launched it last year, he charged ARPA-H with bringing the DARPA mindset to health—to change American health outcomes by making the impossible possible.
And the third is the National Institute of Standards and Technology. NIST has a 120-year history of supporting U.S. competitiveness. And now it has the big job of reimagining semiconductor R&D as part of the landmark CHIPS and Science Act.
Let me finish with this: President Biden likes to say that “America is a nation that can be defined by a single word — possibilities.”
That’s what R&D is all about. This budget strengthens and advances federal R&D to make America’s aspirations possible.
And now it’s my great pleasure to introduce Nani Coloretti, Deputy Director of the Office of Management and Budget.
Nani, thanks for joining us to share the broader budget context for these historic R&D investments.