As part of the Fiscal Year (FY) 2013 budget appropriations process, Dr. Subra Suresh, Director of the National Science Foundation (NSF), appeared before the House Committee on Appropriations Subcommittee on Commerce, Justice, Science,  and Related Agencies on Tuesday, 03/06/2012, to present and respond to the subcommittee members questions about the NSF’s proposed 2013 budget.

According to Dr. Suresh’s prepared statement, the 2013 request, "totals $7.373 billion, an increase of $340.0 million (4.8 percent) over the FY 2012 enacted level . . . . [Providing] increased support for core programs in fundemental research and education in all fields of science and engineering".

Dr. Suresh’s prepared statement reflects the reality of budget constraints imposed by the Federal government’s need to reduce the level of the Federal deficit. noting that "As good stewards of the public trust, we have reduced or eliminated lower priority programs . . . . "

Among the programs targeted for reductions in funding are the Nanoscale Science and Engineering Centers (NSECS). . . .

because the state of research in this area has matured significantly and the research should advance more rapidly in  a different, more use-inspired research center program. Several NSECS grants may transition to the Nanosystems Engineering Research Centers (NERCS) as the nanodevices and processes created at graduating NSECSs move to the systems level and potential commercialization. NSF will continue to support eleven NSECs in FY 2013 including the Nanomanufacturing ERC.

As described in a 2001 program solicitation the NSECs could be be "based …