Director’s Message: Good news in the FY18 budget
Last Friday, the President signed into law a final fiscal year (FY) 2018 spending bill, which funds the government through Sept. 30, 2018. The $1.3 trillion package significantly increases investment in research and development, providing $34.5 billion for the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE). The details reveal a promising picture for Argonne and its mission.
The FY18 bill provides $6.3 billion to support fundamental scientific research and infrastructure investments within the DOE Office of Science, our lab’s largest source of funding. This represents a $900 million or 16 percent increase over previous year funding. Additionally, the offices of Nuclear Energy, Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy, Electricity Delivery and Energy Reliability, and the National Nuclear Security Administration, are also significantly increased over FY17.
In other good news for Argonne, the FY18 bill specifically includes $93 million for the Advanced Photon Source (APS) Upgrade — allowing us to continue on schedule toward our goal of welcoming scientists to the new light source in 2023. Also included in the bill is $110 million for Argonne to continue working to bring the first exascale computer to the Argonne Leadership Computing Facility (ALCF) by 2021. Enhancements to the APS and ALCF position us well for the future, providing powerful boosts to the speed and sophistication of discoveries by our own researchers and the over 6,700 users who visit the two facilities each year.
Also included in the FY18 spending bill is $44.5 million for Argonne to continue construction of the new Materials Design Laboratory and $24.1 million for the Joint Center for Energy Storage Research (JCESR) to continue its work on beyond lithium-ion batteries. The bill also directs DOE to move forward with a five-year renewal of JCESR.
With the completion of the FY18 federal budget process, Congress will now turn its attention to FY19. Last month, the President released his FY19 budget request to Congress, marking the first step in a long, complex process that will proceed over the next several months. As it did with the FY18 budget, Congress will review and consider the President’s FY19 proposal and then set its own federal spending priorities for the coming fiscal year. I ask for your continued patience and support throughout this process. We can focus on our priorities, bolstered by the support Congress has just shown for the important work of the lab.
Thank you for your hard work, commitment to the laboratory and supporting our strategy for our future success. Together we are building on Argonne’s proud history of discovery and innovation, so we can be known for our ideas and for safely delivering lasting impact on society.
From making world-leading discoveries, to increasing safety and managing risk, to creating a safe, welcoming and inclusive environment, we all have roles to play.
I encourage you to talk with your leadership to gain insight into Argonne’s strategy, ask questions and offer suggestions. As always, I invite you to join me at Conversations with Kearns. The next one is scheduled for Tuesday, April 3, at 10 a.m. in Building 402, Room E1100.
Again, I thank each of you for helping Argonne to change the world with its science. It is a privilege to lead this laboratory.