07.09.15

Peters, Gardner Announce Effort to Shape Federal Research and Development Priorities

WASHINGTON, D.C. – U.S. Senators Gary Peters (D-MI) and Cory Gardner (R-CO), members of the Senate Commerce, Science and Transportation Committee, announced today that they will lead a series of discussion briefings to gather information from the U.S. science and research community and help shape federal research and development policy to improve American innovation and competitiveness, which was last authorized by the America COMPETES Act of 2010. 

“Basic research and development is the seed corn of our economy, and the innovation it generates helps build new industries, increase productivity and enhance American competitiveness,” said Senator Peters, Ranking Member of the Commerce Subcommittee on Space, Science and Competitiveness. “Research and development has had an enormous impact in Michigan, where research conducted in our world-class universities drives the creation of new businesses and new jobs across the state. I’m honored to work with Senator Gardner to lead this new bipartisan effort to strengthen innovation nationwide and support federal research investments that will grow our economy, build our skilled workforce and improve American competitiveness in the global marketplace.” 

“American innovation and our entrepreneurial spirit are what make this country great. That’s why it’s important that we foster those qualities through cutting-edge research and development initiatives, as well as improved STEM education programs to prepare the next generation of American innovators,” said Senator Gardner. “I look forward to working with Senator Peters as well as Chairman Thune, Ranking Member Nelson, and Senator Cruz toward our shared goal of updating and enhancing policy that strengthens our economy, creates good-paying jobs, and keeps America competitive.” 

Beginning in July, Peters and Gardner will bring together Commerce Committee members and representatives from academia, business, nonprofits and federal agencies to discuss American research and development (R&D) policy priorities previously authorized by the America COMPETES Act of 2010. Topics will include maximizing basic research; improving Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math (STEM) education research and practices for students; and translating federal research results into innovative commercial applications that benefit economic growth and improve everyday lives. 

Previously, the America COMPETES Act authorized research priorities for several federal agencies, including the National Science Foundation (NSF), the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST), the Department of Energy’s (DOE) Office of Science, the Advanced Research Projects Agency-Energy (ARPA-E), and the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy (OSTP). Peters previously helped enact the America COMPETES Act of 2010 as a member of the Science, Space and Technology Committee in the U.S. House of Representatives.