Alaska’s R&D Programs Face Unprecedented Cuts Under Proposed Federal Budget Plans

Alaska’s dependence upon federal funding for research may be significantly impacted under proposed reductions to federal R&D programs, according to a new report by the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS).

The report, The Future of Science and Technology in Alaska: Trends and Indicators, points out that science and technology play a vital role in the Alaskan economy, providing critical support to the state’s fishing and resource industries. According to the report, federal funds account for nearly three-quarters of Alaska’s R&D, while industry and universities and colleges each provide about 13 percent of the total. Nationally, industry is the principal source of R&D funding (about 60 percent), with the federal government providing just over one-third of the total.

The latest budget proposals from the Administration and Congress call for reductions between 19 and 23 percent to nondefense R&D programs in an effort to reduce the deficit by 2002. According to the report, the nation’s research efforts may become a casualty of the budget wars.

Research at Alaska’s colleges and universities may be particularly hard-hit under federal funding plans. The University of Alaska Fairbanks receives 90 percent of the state’s federal funding for academic R&D. Federal R&D funding to Alaska universities and colleges amounted to $35.8 million in FY 1994. The report indicates that the consequences for the future of Alaska’s R&D institutions, its economy, and its environment could be profound if the budget cuts are implemented.


The material in this press release comes from the originating research organization. Content may be edited for style and length. Have a question? Let us know.

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