2008/09 Support Budget

Budgetary Challenges: Applied Research, $12 million

This BCP requests $30.4 million to fund an additional 1 percent compensation increase in 2008/09 for all CSU employee groups to further offset critical and ongoing salary-related challenges.

The CSU is requesting $12 million to perform applied research in four areas critical to California’s future and economic well-being:

Agriculture $5 million
Biotechnology $3 million
Marine Studies $3 million
Fresh Water $1 million
Total $12 million

These four programs all have several common elements:

  • Address areas of research vital to the current and future well-being of the state of California,
  • Align closely with the educational mission of the CSU and its role in providing the educated workforce needed to drive California forward,
  • Utilize a peer-based, proposal evaluation process to ensure that state funds are expended only on projects that are deemed to have high value to the state and a solid scientific basis for support, and
  • Have the potential to yield many times their state funding in matching and/or additional research funds.


Agriculture, food processing, and beverage manufacturing make up one of the largest and most widespread industry clusters in all of California. Every region of the state (except the heavily urbanized Los Angeles region) has a strong and distinctive specialization in agriculture and/or downstream food and beverage manufacturing. Agricultural enterprises contribute in excess of $32 billion to the California economy and are essential to its economic vitality.

The CSU produces over 52 percent of California’s college graduates in agriculture-related majors. Closely related to and integrated with its core educational mission, the CSU is also a leader in performing applied research to improve the efficiency, productivity, profitability, and sustainability of California agriculture and its allied industries. At the forefront of the CSU’s endeavors is the Agricultural Research Initiative (ARI), a multicampus agricultural and environmental sciences research consortium launched in fiscal year 1999/2000. The requested funding will be administered through ARI’s proven method of peer-reviewed proposal evaluation.

Providing additional funding for applied agriculture research will prevent the loss of jobs, the loss of crops, the loss of the economic value of crops, the degradation of agricultural resources, the loss of farms and farmers, and/or the loss of opportunities to derive greater value from agricultural enterprises. This funding will support innovative approaches such as sustainable agriculture in an effort to promote farming practices that are ecologically sound and economically viable. Funding for sustainable agriculture could provide matching resources to similar efforts on the federal level through the Sustainable Agriculture Research Education (SARE) programs.


In the 10-year period from 1994-2003, revenues from biotech products have jumped from $11.2 billion to $39.2 billion nationally, and employment in the industry has increased roughly 15 percent per year; looking forward, the workforce in the U.S. biotechnology industry is conservatively estimated to grow to 500,000 by 2012.

As impressive as the growth in biotechnology has been, an even more important fact is that California is home to at least half of the biotechnology companies in the country and more than two-thirds of the workers in this industry are at the Bachelor of Science or Master of Science level. In short, California currently is, and has the potential to continue to be, the leader in this increasingly important, knowledge-based industry.

The CSU is doing its part to ensure the vitality of this important industry. The CSU grants 44 percent of all the bachelor’s degrees awarded in life sciences in the state and also maintains centers of excellence where vital applied research is performed. Within the CSU, the critical biotechnology research institution fulfilling the research role is CSUPERB (CSU Program for Education and Research in Biotechnology). The requested research funds will be administered by CSUPERB.

Marine Studies

California has the largest ocean economy in the nation, totaling over $42 billion in gross state product in 2000. And yet, the coastal margins of California are coming under increasing pressure from land use, growing volumes of commercial trade, invasive species, harmful algal blooms, marine pathogens, and declining fisheries, all of which are taking place within a context of climate change.

In light of the importance of the coastal environment to California (and the nation) and the emergence of a wide range of new threats, expenditures (of resources and intellect) to preserve and protect the quality of the coastal environment are essential to maintaining the economic vitality of the state. In most cases, the key to recognizing emerging trends is the availability of accurate and timely data. The requested funds will be administered by CICORE (Center for Integrative Coastal Observation, Research and Education), to perform critical applied research to gather, interpret, understand, and disseminate wide-ranging coastal environmental data critical to preserving California’s coastal resource.

Fresh Water Studies

Water is critical to the future growth and the quality of life in California, and, therefore, ensuring the availability of affordable and adequate supplies of high-quality water is among the state’s highest priorities. Fulfilling this goal demands an integrated and concerted research program. Several CSU campuses have established and recognized centers dedicated to water research. These include:

  • The California Water Institute at CSU Fresno,
  • The Water Resources Institute at CSU San Bernardino,
  • The Watershed Institute at CSU Monterey Bay, and
  • The Institute for Forestry and Watershed Management at Humboldt State University. The research activities of these CSU programs address critical policy and research needs of agricultural, urban, and environmental water uses in the state of California.

Content Contact:
Kara Perkins
(562) 951-4560
Technical Contact:

Last Updated: November 13, 2007