Good afternoon and thank you all for joining me to discuss an issue I've been working on my entire career - first as a college president, then as a Governor, and, of course, in the
There can be absolutely no question that investing in science and technology, in innovation, and in educating our young people is critical to maintaining our nation's global leadership.
We should all be grateful that our country's leaders have had the wisdom and the patience to make these investments, because they make a real difference in people's lives. These investments don't change things overnight, but over time, they are game-changers.
Funding for agencies like the
The money that we put into basic research, into understanding the world around us, has a real world impact. It creates new ways -
* To protect our loved ones, by better identifying dangerous counterfeit drugs;
* To secure our homeland, by being able to "smell" even small amounts of explosives; and
* To interact with the world, by providing seed funding and new technologies for the companies that transformed the Internet, communications, and mobile phones.
That is why I have been so happy to support Federal funding for research and development (R&D) and for education in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM).
It is also why I have been a huge champion for the America COMPETES Acts of 2007 and 2010.
Over the past few months, I have received some amazing numbers on the impact of programs addressed in COMPETES.
Back in 2001, I worked on legislation to create the Robert Noyce Teacher Fellowship Program, which was strengthened by the 2007 COMPETES Act. As of last year, the Noyce scholarship is expected to help produce over 12,000 math and science teachers in high-need districts.
In 2010, COMPETES granted every federal agency the authority to award prizes for solutions to difficult problems. Since then, the web site Challenge.gov has hosted over 200 challenges, with more than 16,000 Americans participating.
Ongoing challenges are working to better measure pollution, reduce hospital readmissions, and bring down the cost of solar energy.
If the country is going to build on these tremendous results, we must continue to defend scientific research and to make it a priority. Given our Government's long and successful track record in supporting research and development, I would like to think that it doesn't need defending. But unfortunately, it does.
We know that our science agencies have suffered because of long-term funding reductions, and short-term disruptions like sequestration and the government shutdown. It is very hard to plan long-term research when you can't even be sure of your budget over the next few months.
Also, we've seen proposals that would let
On his deathbed in 1969, former President
Our House colleagues who would substitute their own opinions for those of the scientific community would be wise to remember
Today, I plan to release a draft of my 2014 America COMPETES reauthorization. This bill would make it clear that
There are already so many examples of Federally-funded research making our nation and our economy stronger. That is why I am very glad to see Dr.
As Dr. Cerf can explain, it took several decades of incremental work by scientists and engineers at the
Our challenge is to make sure that the next Internet is developed in
Our wonderful panel of witnesses will help us to understand how we can do that.
Read this original document at: http://www.commerce.senate.gov/public/index.cfm?p=Hearings&ContentRecord_id=9c3d3e8b-b2a7-4def-bd97-ae9c3b50daba&Statement_id=62df3ddd-8ff1-44ea-bfc6-7ba5eb04c7fc&ContentType_id=14f995b9-dfa5-407a-9d35-56cc7152a7ed&Group_id=b06c39af-e033-4cba-9221-de668ca1978a&MonthDisplay=7&YearDisplay=2014
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