Federal R&D Sees Boost in NITRD Budget Supplement

Published: November 30, 2023

BudgetInformation TechnologyResearch and Development

The federal IT research program reports $10.9B in requested FY 2024 funding, a 13.5% increase over FY 2023 and driven by growth in AI R&D investments.

The Networking and Information Technology Research and Development (NITRD) program’s latest budget supplement to the President’s FY 2024 budget request reflects a significant increase in federal research and development (R&D) investments.

According to the supplement’s introduction, the increase in FY 2024 answers seven areas of R&D priorities from the Biden Administration: Preparing for and preventing pandemics; Reducing the death rate from cancer by half; Tackling climate change; Advancing national security and technological competitiveness; Innovating for equity; Cultivating an equitable STEM education, engagement, and workforce ecosystem; Promoting open science and community-engaged R&D.

For reference, the NITRD program coordinates federal leadership, networking, and programs in IT R&D among 25 member agencies and 80 participating agencies, and helps scale innovative technologies to use, among other objectives. The program is organized by Interagency Working Groups (IWGs) to align activities and investments with specific R&D priorities. Each year, NITRD categorizes the annual budget supplement by Program Component Areas (PCAs). Simply put, PCAs are focal areas of technical R&D at agencies. The FY 2024 budget supplement PCAs do not differ from the FY 2203 PCAs and include:

  • Advanced Communication Networks and Systems (ACNS)
  • Advanced Wireless R&D (AWRD) (ACNS subPCA)
  • Artificial Intelligence (AI) R&D
  • Computing-Enabled Human Interaction, Communication, and Augmentation (CHuman)
  • Computing-Enabled Networked Physical Systems (CNPS)
  • Cyber Security and Privacy (CSP)
  • Education and Workforce (EdW)
  • Electronics for Networking and Information Technology (ENIT)
  • Enabling R&D for High-Capability Computing Systems (EHCS)
  • High-Capability Computing Infrastructure and Applications (HCIA)
  • Intelligent Robotics and Autonomous Systems (IRAS)
  • Large-Scale Data Management and Analysis (LSDMA)
  • Software Productivity, Sustainability, and Quality (SPSQ)

The R&D budget totals $10.9B, a nearly $640M increase over the FY 2023 enacted level. The below chart reflects total FY 2024 R&D budgets by agency, as well as the change compared to FY 2023 enacted budgets in parenthesis:


  • Figures include FY 2023 budget supplements.

Increases across several agencies are prompted by additional funding for AI. At DOD, for example, a $33M increase in AI is requested as part of the Navy’s Cooperative Engagement Capability Increment II program. Likewise, the USGS requests an additional $21M for AI, as does the USDA. At NSF, the agency sees an overall increase in funding across all PCAs, particularly additional funding for the National AI Research Institutes and the Technology, Innovation and Partnerships Directorate.

Other increases to note include $122M at the DOE, primarily driven by $55M in EHCS for new microelectronic centers, and $46M in HCIA to support operations costs for the Aurora exascale system. Interior also requests an increase of $21M in HCIA.

Nonetheless, NTIA reports a decrease in funding for FY 2024 after receiving $1.3B in FY 2023 supplemental funding, driving the significant decrease in funding in the “Other” category. Other decreases include $78M at DARPA with the completion of several AI programs at the organization. Additionally, ARPA-E under DOE faces a decrease of $14M in IRAS activities in FY 2024.