House Adopts Cicilline Amendment to Increase Defense Research Program Funding by $1.5 Million

Jun 18, 2019

URI will be eligible for these federal funds to continue critical defense research


WASHINGTON – The U.S. House of Representatives adopted an amendment offered by U.S. Congressman David N. Cicilline (RI-01) today that will reduce funding for studying the feasibility of “Space Force” by $1.5 million and make the money available to the Defense Established Program to Stimulate Competitive Research (DEPSCoR). Cicilline’s amendment was adopted to an appropriations bill that Congress will consider in full later this week.


“The DEPSCoR program provides the opportunity to expand the research we do with the Department of Defense and to engage in some of the most cutting edge and exciting research underway. The program can benefit our students, our faculty and the work we do in the state. We appreciate Congressman Cicilline’s ongoing efforts to provide URI and RI with a strong research infrastructure,” said Peter J. Snyder, Ph.D., Vice President for Research & Economic Development, and Professor of Biomedical Sciences, at the University of Rhode Island.


DEPSCoR is designed to expand the defense research base, drawing on expertise from all parts of the nation, and to enable scientists and engineers, regardless of where they are geographically located, to participate in defense research activities. Cicilline’s amendment increases total funding in Fiscal Year 2020 (FY2020) for DEPSCoR to $12 million – bringing funding in the bill back up to the FY19 enacted level.


“Rhode Island’s colleges and universities are second-to-none,” said Cicilline. “That’s why we have to make sure they can always get the resources they need to create jobs, move forward on exciting research, and develop new technologies that make our world a better, safer place. I’m pleased that the House adopted my amendment today. I look forward to working with our academic community to ensure that Rhode Island gets as much federal funding as possible.”


The funding will be made available by drawing down funds for studying the possibility of creating “Space Force,” a new branch of the Armed Forces that President Trump has proposed, and that the New York Times editorial board has warned “could spur an arms race in space and make war-fighting there more likely.”


DEPSCoR funding will allow participating institutions to create jobs researching infectious disease response, energy storage alternatives, and other advancements in national security technology. The University of Rhode Island believes that DEPSCoR will enable researchers at the school to strengthen their ongoing work with the Office of Naval Research (ONR), as well as other areas under the Department of Defense (DOD).