Washington, DC – Association of Public and Land-grant Universities (APLU) President Peter McPherson today issued the following statement on the passage of the U.S. Innovation and Competition Act in the Senate.
“Senate passage of the U.S. Innovation and Competition Act is a critical legislative step forward for American science and innovation. It enables exactly the kind of investments necessary to ensure the U.S. remains the world’s unparalleled innovation powerhouse. We thank Senators Schumer and Young for their bold leadership in developing and advancing this landmark legislation.
“For decades, federal investment in research and development as a share of the economy has flatlined even as our global competitors have jumpstarted innovation and economic growth through such investment. The investments authorized in this bill would lay the foundation for U.S. innovation leadership for decades to come. We urge lawmakers to back these authorizations with the funding necessary to help spark new innovations, spawn new companies, and create new jobs.
“The bill’s creation of a new technology directorate at the National Science Foundation would help springboard discoveries made in the lab to commercial breakthroughs that enhance quality of life and fuel U.S. economic growth. It would also foster U.S. leadership in nascent but society-shaping sectors that are core to our national interest such as artificial intelligence, cybersecurity, biotechnology, and clean energy.
“During the legislative process, numerous research security provisions were added to the bill. The public university community has a deep commitment to safeguarding federally funded research discoveries from undue foreign government influence. As the legislative process continues, we look forward to working with lawmakers to ensure new research security regulations are appropriate in scope, not duplicative, and don’t needlessly hamper appropriate international education and scientific partnerships. We believe a better balance can and should be achieved as the process advances.
“We look forward to working with House lawmakers on complementary legislation, such as the NSF for the Future Act, and ultimately bicameral legislation that is sent to President Biden for his signature. Redoubling investment in federally funded science is essential to helping write the next chapter of American scientific leadership.”