Federal activities that support the bioeconomy and biological innovation should be prioritized in fiscal year 2014, according to a memo from the White House to federal agencies. Such activities include “enhancing translational sciences” and training programs to prepare students for the bioeconomy workforce. The Obama Administration outlined its blueprint for a bio-based economy in April 2012.

Among the other funding priorities laid out in the memo are several administration favorites, including advanced manufacturing, clean energy, climate change, and science, technology, engineering, and mathematics education. In terms of climate change, the top priority for research is scientific activities that advance understanding of vulnerability of human and natural systems to climate extremes.

Agencies whose primary mission is not research and development (R&D) should give priority to activities that strengthen the scientific basis for decision-making. In particular, R&D that advances the following policy goals should be prioritized: ecosystem and landscape scale management, implementation of the National Ocean Policy, stewardship of natural resources, and sustainable agricultural systems.

Other funding priorities include information technology R&D, nanotechnology, and commercialization of innovation.

A joint memo from the heads of the Office of Management and Budget and Office of Science and Technology Policy is released each year as part of the federal budgeting process. The memo provides guidance to federal agencies on what to prioritize in R&D budgets in the upcoming fiscal year. Agencies are currently preparing their budget proposals for fiscal year 2014.


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