By Tawanda W. Johnson
Four business leaders testified recently before the U.S. House Science & Technology Committee, urging Congress to re-authorize the America COMPETES bill to keep the nation on a track of scientific advancement, technological innovation and job creation.
The legislation, set to expire at the end of the current fiscal year, calls for the doubling of research funding for the Department of Energy’s Office of Science, the National Science Foundation and the National Institute of Standards and Technology, among other programs.
John Castellani, president of the Business Roundtable; Tom Donohue, president of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce; former Michigan Gov. John Engler, president of the National Association of Manufacturers; and Deborah Wince-Smith, president and CEO of the Council of Competitiveness all stated that the legislation is critical to ensuring that the U.S. can successfully compete in the global economy of the 21st century.
Passed with bipartisan support in 2007, the COMPETES bill was developed after the highly acclaimed Rising Above the Gathering Storm
report recommended the following:
• Increase America’s talent pool by vastly improving K-12 science and mathematics education.
• Sustain and strengthen the nation’s traditional commitment to long-term basic research.
• Make the U.S. the most attractive setting in which to study and perform research, so that the country can recruit and retain the best and brightest students, scientists and engineers throughout the world.
• Ensure that the U.S. is the premier place in the world to innovate. See http://physicsfrontline.aps.org