It is a small amount of money, granted, but sometimes fantastic engineering can be done with small amounts of money. Keeps it under the radar, gives focus, keeps the bureaucrats away, who are more interested in the delivery of progress reports than progress itself. This was one reason the US Navy kept their funding low and thus low profile.
Background: The Polywell fusion project, initiated by the late Dr Bussard, has the potential to create working ship and shore fusion power generators. In the Deuterium fuel model, it will produce practically no neutron, gamma or beta radiation - the stuff that crashes into your cells and kills you. It can be switched off almost instantaneously, with no long cool down or prospect of a China Syndrome or Chernobyl-style accident. If it scales properly, we can see the end of the Oil economy...and the "renewables" economy, too, for that matter, so no more ugly wind farms, no more food production taken to grab biofuel subsidies and no need for dams across the Severn that will disrupt the habitat. Most of all no more patronising control-freaks who in truth want us all to regress to living in mud huts on the Danube.