WASHINGTON, D.C.—The U.S. Senate Subcommittee on Science and Space announces an upcoming hearing on keeping America competitive through investments in R&D.
At this hearing, the Subcommittee will consider the current state of federal research and development in context of the America COMPETES Reauthorization Act of 2010 and the President’s fiscal year 2013 budget request. During this hearing, the Subcommittee will focus on progress made toward achieving the goals of America COMPETES, including preparing a skilled workforce to meet the needs of the innovation economy, the use of public-private partnerships to facilitate development of technologies for commercialization, and others.
Please note the hearing will be webcast live via the Senate Commerce Committee website. Refresh the Commerce Committee homepage 10 minutes prior to the scheduled start time to automatically begin streaming the webcast.
Individuals with disabilities who require an auxiliary aid or service, including closed captioning service for webcast hearings, should contact Collenne Wider at 202-224-5511 at least three business days in advance of the hearing date.
Chairman John D. (Jay) Rockefeller IVU.S. Senate Committee on Commerce, Science, and Transportation
WASHINGTON, D.C.—I would like to welcome all of our witnesses here today to discuss the President’s budget request for federal research and development (R&D) and progress made toward meeting the goals of the America COMPETES Act.
The COMPETES Act has three primary goals to increase American innovation and competitiveness: double federal R&D investments in science and education; strengthen science, technology, engineering and mathematics – or STEM – education, and develop a research and innovation infrastructure. These goals are just as critical, if not more so, than when the original legislation was signed into law five years ago.
I believe we’re at a critical junction on homegrown job creation—which is why I’ve made it a goal of mine to spark a renaissance in domestic manufacturing in my state of West Virginia. During a series of roundtables and a field hearing, I have explored ways we can promote exports and redouble our assistance to manufacturing firms—big and small—that want to make products right here in our country. Not overseas.
Innovation and job creation are essential, yet they are only part of the solution. We also need to improve job training to align our workforce with the skills demanded by the global economy. Different industries report that thousands of positions are going unfilled because applicants lack the necessary science and engineering skills. Over the last decade, the number of STEM jobs has grown three times faster than non-STEM jobs. And, on average, STEM workers earn 25 percent more and are less likely to be unemployed. It is critical that we provide the best possible science and engineering education, not just to prepare our children for tomorrow’s high-tech jobs, but to train people to fill these jobs today.
I am encouraged that the Administration maintains its commitment to improving STEM education throughout the nation, proposing a nearly 3 billion-dollar investment in this area. I am also pleased that the President’s budget proposes a significant investment in manufacturing as a centerpiece of our economic recovery.
While the request maintains support for successful programs, such as the Manufacturing Extension Partnership, it also increases investments in advanced manufacturing, and expands programs like NSF's (National Science Foundation) Innovation Corps to help commercialize research discoveries and build an entrepreneurial network for our best scientists.
Cybersecurity is also a major priority of mine, and a key focus is research on the “science of security.” The President’s request for the Networking and Information Technology R&D program includes activities for several defense agencies to address the basic science of cybersecurity—but surprisingly, not the National Science Foundation. Dr. Suresh, NSF has the capability to play a very helpful role as the country addresses its cybersecurity needs, and I would like to hear how you’re making sure NSF leverages its resources to do that.
As Chairman, I plan to work with the President and my colleagues to pursue these crucial investments in R&D, education, and job creation in the budget for the coming year, and I look forward to our conversation on these topics today.
Witness Panel 1
The Honorable John P. HoldrenDirector, Office of Science and Technology PolicyExecutive Office of the President
The Honorable Patrick D. GallagherUnder Secretary of Commerce for Standards and TechnologyDirector, National Institute of Standards and Technology, U.S. Department of Commerce
The Honorable Subra SureshDirectorNational Science Foundation
Dr. Mason PeckChief TechnologistNational Aeronautics and Space Administration