Director’s Message: FY17 Budget Update
My colleagues, I am pleased to be writing to you just a few days since my last message, to share an update.
As you may have read or heard in the media, Congress last week passed a $1.1 trillion spending bill to fund the government through September 30, which is the end of fiscal 2017. The bill, signed by the President on Friday, provides a total of $30 billion to the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE), including $5.4 billion to the Office of Science (SC).
The final appropriations agreement for this fiscal year constitutes a 0.8 percent increase for SC. Of particular interest to our lab is $80 million for the Argonne Leadership Computing Facility, $24 million for the Joint Center for Energy Storage Research and $42.5 million for the Advanced Photon Source upgrade. The upgrade funding allows the purchase of magnets and other building blocks of the new APS to begin.
The bill also designates $19 million for the Materials Design Laboratory — construction of this new 115,000 square-foot facility is underway on the north side of campus. Policy direction included in the spending bill advises the DOE to prioritize crosscutting initiatives involving multiple laboratories; specifically called out was the Grid Modernization Laboratory Consortium in which Argonne has a role. Argonne also has a leadership role in the Exascale Computing Project (ECP), another large project involving a number of labs in coordination with the DOE; the appropriations bill designated $164 million for the ECP.
As I mentioned in my last message, work on the fiscal 2018 budget is just beginning. The Presidential Budget Request is anticipated later in May; from there both Houses of Congress will work through a process to arrive at a final budget considered by the President. As that process moves along, our focus should remain constant — doing our work and leveraging our capabilities to meet the lab’s mission of advancing science for energy breakthroughs and making large-scale user facilities available to the research community. I thank each and every employee for the contribution they make to achieving those goals.