Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Science Foundation Arizona on termination list

On the same day the new President proclaims "We will restore science to its rightful place," the Arizona State Senate held a hearing on shutting down Science Foundation Arizona (SFA).

SFA is considered one of the most innovative programs in the nation for investment in science for economic development.

The Senate Appropriations Committee is calling in state agencies this week that have been targeted for elimination as described in budget 'options' released on Friday.

SFA is actually an independent 501(C)3 non-profit operation funded through the Arizona 21st Century Fund. The Legislature's proposal is to zero out the FY09 and FY10 budgets of that fund, effectively shutting down SFA.

According to the SFA web site, the Governor and State Legislature appropriated $35 million to Science Foundation Arizona through the Arizona 21st Century Competitive Initiative Fund in June 2006. The goal was to develop the necessary resources for Arizona to become globally competitive in science and engineering.

In June 2007, the State Legislature approved a four-year commitment to Science Foundation Arizona for an additional $100 million to be matched by the private sector, making the total investment for innovation and growth $235 million through 2012.

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