Washington, DC – Association of Public and Land-grant Universities (APLU) President Peter McPherson today issued the following statement regarding the passage of the American Innovation and Competitiveness Act in the U.S. House of Representatives. The Senate approved the measure last week. President Obama is expected to sign the bill into law in the coming days.
“With the equivalent of just seconds left on the clock in a fourth and goal situation, Congress ran one up the middle and scored for science and the American people with the final passage of the American Innovation and Competitiveness Act.
“This bipartisan measure upholds the internationally heralded merit-review process at the National Science Foundation (NSF), ensuring that the research conducted is of the greatest integrity and moves us closer toward new discoveries and innovations. The research that NSF sponsors on public university campuses and elsewhere has led to cutting edge breakthroughs such as the Internet, touchscreen devices, and GPS. What’s next? We don’t know yet, but what we do know is that NSF-backed research is underway that will unlock new technologies and lead to products that will grow our economy and improve the quality of life for all Americans.
“The American Innovation and Competitiveness Act will help ensure good science while streamlining regulations that too often clog up the scientific process with redundant and unnecessary bureaucratic hurdles. Additionally, the measure helps foster the commercialization of the discoveries made in university labs so they can more easily be turned into products that the public can use and enjoy.
“Passage of this bill is a constructive step forward; the next step must be robust funding for science. In the context of China and other economic competitors ramping up their spending on science, strong U.S. funding levels for scientific research are necessary to keep America at the top and avert a looming innovation deficit.”