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Report: R&D funding for businesses was virtually unchanged 2009-2010

June 6, 2013 1:36 pm | News | Comments

The National Science Foundation (NSF) this week released a report detailing the amount companies spent on U.S. research and development (R&D) during 2010. The numbers show this total was essentially unchanged from the amount spent in 2009, which was $282 billion. Of the $279 billion spent in 2010, the U.S. federal government provided $34 billion.

Power grid getting smarter with big battery

June 3, 2013 7:30 am | News | Comments

Research conducted with a large new battery unveiled in Oregon will help make the Northwest's and the nation's electric system smarter and more efficient, officials said at a ribbon-cutting ceremony. Portland General Electric's 5-MW, lithium-ion energy storage system was shared with the public Friday at the utility's Salem Smart Power Center in South Salem, Ore.

Sandia, SRI International sign pact to advance hydrogen gas research

May 30, 2013 7:50 am | News | Comments

Sandia National Laboratories and SRI International will join forces to explore, test and evaluate a broad range of hydrogen and natural gas fuel systems and components for transportation applications under a new agreement. The five-year memorandum of understanding is the first agreement in Sandia’s new Center for Infrastructure Research and Innovation, an alternative fuel research and innovation facility.

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Department of Defense awards $2 million to spinal cord injury research

May 28, 2013 2:17 pm | by The Associated Press | News | Comments

The Christopher & Dana Reeve Foundation and Capstone National Partners are pleased to announce a $2 million grant from the United States Department of Defense (DOD) to further support the expansion of translational research to find treatments for individuals living with spinal cord injury, including servicemen and women.

NASA head views progress on asteroid lasso mission

May 23, 2013 10:59 pm | by Alicia Chang, AP Science Writer | News | Comments

Surrounded by engineers at the Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Southern California, NASA chief Charles Bolden on Thursday inspected a prototype spacecraft engine that could power an audacious mission to lasso an asteroid and tow it closer to Earth for astronauts to explore. Once relegated to science fiction, ion propulsion is preferred for deep space cruising because it's more fuel-efficient.

Livermore Lab, Cool Earth Solar partner on renewable energy demonstration project

May 14, 2013 2:53 pm | News | Comments

The California Energy Commission has awarded $1.7 million to a partnership between Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory and Cool Earth Solar Inc. to conduct a community-scale renewable energy integration demonstration project at the Livermore Valley Open Campus.

Budget cuts pare real-time monitoring of volcanoes

May 14, 2013 8:09 am | by Rachel D’Oro, Associated Press | News | Comments

Worldwide, hundreds of flights are diverted each year because of volcanic activity. Scientists monitoring Alaska's volcanoes have been forced to shut down stations that provide real-time tracking of eruptions and forgo repairs of seismic equipment amid ongoing federal budget cuts—moves that could mean delays in getting vital information to airline pilots and emergency planners.

Russia charging NASA $70 million per rocket seat

May 1, 2013 9:24 am | by Marcia Dunn, AP Aerospace Writer | News | Comments

Based on numbers from the latest contract between NASA and the Russian Space Agency, the United States is paying $424 million more to Russia to get U.S. astronauts into space. NASA Administrator Charles Bolden is is blaming Congress for the extra expense, saying reduced funding for commercial spaceflight development has forced the agency to sign the new contract.

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Alaska, DOE agree to study unconventional energy

April 16, 2013 8:50 pm | by DAN JOLING - Associated Press - Associated Press | News | Comments

The U.S. Department of Energy and the state of Alaska will collaborate on future research of unconventional energy resources in the Arctic, including abundant reservoirs of methane hydrate. The DOE's acting assistant secretary for fossil energy, Christopher Smith, and Alaska Department of Natural Resources Commissioner Dan Sullivan announced the agreement Tuesday.

Satellite shelved after 2000 election to now fly

April 11, 2013 2:51 am | by Seth Borenstein, AP Science Writer | News | Comments

Obama proposed Wednesday spending nearly $35 million in his 2014 budget to refurbish a satellite, nicknamed GoreSat by critics, that's been sitting in storage after it was shelved in 2001, months after Bush took office. It cost about $100 million by then with NASA's internal auditors faulting its cost increases.

Project will improve heat dissipation in 3D microelectronic systems

April 2, 2013 1:15 pm | News | Comments

Researchers from the Georgia Institute of Technology have won a Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) contract to develop 3D chip-cooling technology able to handle heat loads as much as ten times greater than systems commonly used today. In addition to higher overall chip heat dissipation demands, the new approach will also have to handle on-chip hot-spots that dissipate considerably more power per unit area than the remainder of the device. Such cooling demands may be needed for future generations of high-performance integrated circuits embedded in a wide range of military equipment.

Obama proposes $100M for brain mapping project

April 2, 2013 12:35 pm | by Nedra Pickler, Associated Press | News | Comments

President Barack Obama on Tuesday asked Congress to spend $100 million next year on a new project to map the human brain in hopes of eventually finding cures for disorders like Alzheimer's, epilepsy and traumatic injuries. The BRAIN Initiative, he said, could create jobs and eventually lead to answers to ailments including Parkinson's and autism and help reverse the effect of a stroke.

Obama to propose $100M brain mapping project

April 2, 2013 9:46 am | by NEDRA PICKLER - Associated Press - Associated Press | News | Comments

President Barack Obama is proposing a new research investment to map the human brain in hopes of eventually finding treatments for traumatic injuries and disorders like Alzheimer's disease and epilepsy. The president planned to propose an initial $100 million investment next year during remarks Tuesday morning. The White House said in a statement that the goal of the project—called the BRAIN Initiative for Brain Research through Advancing Innovative Neurotechnologies—is "to revolutionize our understanding of the human mind" and create jobs.

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Obama wants research to wean vehicles off oil

March 15, 2013 6:01 am | by MATTHEW DALY - Associated Press - Associated Press | News | Comments

President Barack Obama is pushing Congress to authorize more federally funded research into clean energy technologies that can wean automobiles off oil. Obama proposed the idea of an energy security trust last month in his State of the Union address, but he was putting a price tag on the idea during a trip Friday to the Argonne National Laboratory outside Chicago—$2 billion over 10 years.

NSF, partners to expand access to publicly-funded research

February 25, 2013 10:13 am | News | Comments

Late last week, the National Science Foundation , along with federal partners, announced its commitment to expand public access to the results of its funded research. This announcement follows a memorandum issued from the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy directing science-funding agencies to develop plans to increase access to the results of federally funded research.

Researchers propose new technique for probing Earth's deep interior

February 22, 2013 10:03 am | News | Comments

National Science Foundation-funded researchers at Amherst College in Massachusetts and the University of Texas at Austin have described a new technique based in particle physics that might one day reveal, in more detail than ever before, the composition and characteristics of the deep Earth. There's just one catch: the technique relies on a fifth force of nature that has not yet been detected, but some particle physicists think it might exist.

Sandia Labs revitalizes nuclear security infrastructure

February 22, 2013 8:54 am | News | Comments

Sandia National Laboratories has completed $199 million in facilities construction and repair as part of an 11-year national effort to revitalize the physical infrastructure of nuclear security enterprise sites.

Cool Earth Solar, Sandia form partnership

February 20, 2013 3:40 pm | News | Comments

In a public-private partnership that takes full advantage of the Livermore Valley Open Campus for the first time, Sandia National Laboratories and Cool Earth Solar have signed an agreement that could make solar energy more affordable and accessible. The five-year Cooperative Research & Development Agreement calls for researchers with Sandia's New Mexico solar energy program to help pilot, characterize, and validate Cool Earth Solar's inflated, concentrated photovoltaic technology.

Report: Potential benefits of inertial fusion energy justify continued R&D

February 20, 2013 12:02 pm | News | Comments

According to a new report from the National Research Council, although ignition of fusion fuel has not yet been achieved, the potential benefits of inertial fusion energy justify investment in fusion energy research and development. Scientific and technological progress in inertial confinement fusion over the past decade has been substantial, but continued progress will require a large and concerted effort.

Mimicking nature in engineering

February 19, 2013 3:31 pm | News | Comments

Lizards and frogs are about to take up residence in the laboratories of Virginia Tech's College of Engineering. The National Science Foundation has awarded engineers and scientists at Virginia Tech a little over a half a million dollars to investigate the water entry and exit problems that are apparent in engineering mechanics based on a better understanding of biology.

Lockheed Martin receives two contracts from Army

February 13, 2013 2:43 pm | by The Associated Press | News | Comments

Aerospace and defense contractor Lockheed Martin said Wednesday that it received two contracts from the Army worth a total of $161.7 million to continue upgrades to an Apache helicopter program. The pact includes 482 Modernized Day Sensor Assembly Modernized Laser Rangefinder Designator kits and spares.

Sandia awards information technology contracts to three firms

February 13, 2013 2:14 pm | News | Comments

Sandia National Laboratories has issued three information technology (IT) contracts totaling $353 million over a potential term of seven years. The awards streamline IT contracting at the laboratories.

Academic institutions added more science, engineering R&D in last few years

February 5, 2013 7:51 am | News | Comments

Science and engineering research space at the nation's research-performing colleges and universities increased 3.5% from fiscal year (FY) 2009 to FY 2011, growing to 202.9 million net assignable square feet (NASF), according to recent data from the National Science Foundation's Survey of Science and Engineering Research Facilities. Biomedical fields account for the majority of the growth.

EU science projects win up to billion euros each

January 28, 2013 8:16 am | News | Comments

Two science projects—one to map the human brain, the other to explore the extraordinary properties of the carbon-based material graphene—were declared the winners Monday of an EU technologies contest and will receive up to €1 billion ($1.35 billion) each over the next 10 years.

PNNL awarded $2.8 million to keep troops cool

January 25, 2013 8:12 am | News | Comments

A new, energy-efficient air chilling system could keep troops on the front lines cool while using about half as much diesel as current systems. The system's decreased fuel consumption could also save lives by reducing attacks on American soldiers who deliver fuel to field operations.

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