innovation and competitiveness

House Subcommittees Hold Hearing on Balancing Open Science and U.S. Research Security

On October 5, the Subcommittee on Investigations & Oversight and Subcommittee on Research & Technology within the House Committee on Science, Space, and Technology (SST) held a joint hearing focused on maintaining the critical balance between securing the U.S. research enterprise and openness and international collaboration, especially concerning the requirements facing foreign scientists who perform research at U.S. institutions. Witnesses included Co-Chair of the National Science, Technology, and Security Roundtable at the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering and Medicine (NASEM) Dr. Maria Zuber; Director of Science, Technology Assessment, and Analytics at the Government Accountability Office (GAO) Candice Wright; Inspector General…

Biden’s PCAST Holds First Meeting

Just days after members were named to the President’s Council of Advisors on Science and Technology (PCAST) (see previous coverage), the Council held its first meeting on September 28 and 29. The first meeting featured speakers who focused on two broad themes: (1) Strengthening US Science & Technology Global Leadership for the 21st Century and (2) The State of US Preparedness & Public Health as Revealed by the Pandemic. During discussions of US public health preparedness, both PCAST members and presenters alike emphasized the need for research in social and behavioral sciences to better shape how we respond to future…

Competing NSF Bills Introduced in House and Senate

As previously reported, leadership of the House Science Committee introduced the NSF for the Future Act (H.R. 2225) on March 26. The bill seeks to reauthorize the National Science Foundation (NSF) through FY 2026 and proposes more than doubling the agency’s budget over that period. The legislation also proposes the creation of a new research directorate, the Directorate for Science and Engineering Solutions (SES), which would enable NSF to “take big risks and experiment with new approaches to accelerating the translation of science and technology into solutions to society’s major challenges” (see press release). Meanwhile, competing legislation has been reintroduced…

Senate Focuses on Research Security, Introduces New Anti-China Provisions

The Senate has directed its attention towards competition with China as of late, resulting in activities focusing on research security as an extension of U.S.-China policy. On April 15, the Strategic Competition Act of 2021 (S. 1169) was introduced in the Senate by Senators Bob Menendez (D-NJ) and Jim Risch (R-ID), the Chairman and Ranking Member respectively of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee. The bipartisan bill includes a long list of measures related to competition with China, including issues related to the security of the U.S. research enterprise. One section of the bill controversially increases oversight at academic institutions on…

Senate Science Subcommittee Holds Hearing on “Research and Innovation: Ensuring America’s Economic and Strategic Leadership”

On October 22, the Senate Commerce, Science, and Transportation Subcommittee on Science, Oceans, Fisheries, and Weather held a hearing titled “Research and Innovation: Ensuring America’s Economic and Strategic Leadership” to discuss the significance that research and innovation have in ensuring U.S. leadership in the global economy.  The witnesses were Dr. Rebecca Blank, Chancellor of the University of Wisconsin-Madison; Dr. Sethuraman Panchanathan, Executive Vice President of Arizona State University Knowledge Enterprise; Dr. David Shaw, Provost and Executive Vice President of Mississippi State University; and Dr. Diane Souvaine, Chair of the National Science Board. Subcommittee Chair Cory Gardner (R-CO) stressed the need…

Innovation: An American Imperative Releases Progress Report

In celebration of the third anniversary of Innovation: An American Imperative, a group of the endorsing organizations issued a report on the progress made by Congress on areas of focus highlighted in the original 2015 report. The Innovation Imperative effort brought U.S. industry, higher education, science and engineering organizations, including COSSA, together to urge Congress to enact policies and make investments to help ensure the United States remains the global innovation leader. The original statement on congressional progress provided seven areas of focus for congressional action moving forward: renewing the federal commitment to scientific discovery by ending sequestration level spending…

Progress Report Released for Innovation: An American Imperative

In 2015, COSSA endorsed Innovation: An American Imperative, a call for policymakers to strengthen investments in the U.S. innovation enterprise. In April, organizers released a progress report to the document, which now has signatures from more than 500 organizations. The progress report identifies areas in which progress has been made (including strengthening the R&D tax credit and reaffirming merit-based peer review) as well as areas for concern (in particular, changes to U.S. visa policy). The progress report is available on the Innovation Imperative website. Back to this issue’s table of contents.

COSSA Endorses Innovation Imperative

COSSA has joined more than 250 industry, science, and higher education organizations on “Innovation: An American Imperative,” which is a call to action urging Congress to double down on its investments in the U.S. innovation enterprise.  According to the statement, “Our leadership is now at risk because of years of under-prioritizing federal scientific research investments and policies that promote innovation.” In response to these concerns, the statement calls for Congress to take a number of steps, including ending cuts to discretionary spending, providing increases of at least four percent to basic research agencies, improving student achievement in STEM disciplines, and…

Scientific Community to Congress: Close the Innovation Deficit

On November 12, COSSA joined 133 partners throughout the scientific, higher education, business and patient communities on a letter to Congress urging passage of an omnibus fiscal year (FY) 2015 appropriations bills addresses the “innovation deficit” by including increased investments for scientific research and higher education. As the letter states, “the innovation deficit is the widening gap between the actual level of federal government funding for research and higher education and what the investment needs to be if the United States is to remain the world’s innovation leader… [T]oday, our leadership faces a serious challenge from other nations that are…

Policy Roundtable Seminar Focuses on Stimulating Innovation in Government

The National Academies’ Policy Roundtable of the Behavioral and Social Sciences held a seminar on October 30 focused on “Stimulating Effective Innovation in Government.” The Roundtable is chaired by David T. Ellwood of the Harvard Kennedy School and, beginning in 2015, will be directed by Arlene Lee, Director of the Committee on Law and Justice. For more on the Roundtable, see COSSA’s coverage of its last meeting. Roundtable members are government users and producers of social and behavioral science research and behavioral social and scientists who have spent time in the government (the list of members is available on the…

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