U.S. House Panel Approves $7.5M for Lead-Free R&D in FY 2022

In another step forward for U.S. taxpayers, defense readiness, and the electronics industry supply chain, the U.S. House Appropriations Subcommittee on Defense has allocated $7.5 million for lead-free electronics R&D in FY 2022.  

IPC and more than a dozen partners have been working over the last few years to stand up a $40 million, five-year initiative to tackle lead-free supply chain and technical issues in the defense and high-performance electronics sectors. We believe a public-private R&D program would yield more than $100 million in U.S. defense savings per year and improve military readiness and overall innovation. The initiative builds on the work done by the Pb-Free Electronics Risk Management (PERM) Council over its 10+ year history. More details are available in this December 2020 IPC blog post.

In a very challenging budget environment, the $7.5 million House figure signals continuing congressional interest in funding this project through completion. To date, Congress has provided a combined $15 million for this R&D in FY20 and FY21.

Congressional plus-ups are very competitive and difficult to secure. To be successful, the project needs to meet a true technical requirement, be recognized as a need of the Defense Department, and have sufficient congressional support. We have come a long way in developing support for this project within the Defense Department and the Congress, and we remain upbeat about our ability to secure the needed funding through the appropriations process or other federal partnership opportunities.

In the next round of action, IPC will continue to advocate for strong lead-free R&D funding in the Senate version of the FY22 defense appropriations bill. We will keep you posted and welcome your questions and suggestions.