(Washington, DC) Today, House Science, Space, and Technology Subcommittee on Research & Technology Ranking Member Michael Waltz (R-FL) was joined by Rep. Deborah Ross (D-NC), Ranking Member Frank Lucas (R-OK), and Chairwoman Eddie Bernice Johnson (D-TX) to introduce legislation establishing a national strategy for science and technology.
H.R. 3858, the National Science and Technology Strategy Act of 2021 directs the Office of Science and Technology Policy (OSTP) and the National Science and Technology Council (NSTC) to develop a comprehensive national science and technology strategy every four years and conduct a quadrennial review for U.S. science and technology. The bill creates a whole-of-government planning process for research and development, ensuring better coordination between federal agencies and a more strategic approach to U.S. research and development goals. Additionally, the bill requires the President to submit an annual report to Congress on national research priorities and activities, as well as global trends in science and technology, including potential threats to U.S. scientific leadership.
“This bill requires a whole of government strategy for technology and innovation to maintain United States leadership and national security,” said Waltz. “This legislation would require an assessment of threats like China to United States predominance, including research theft and espionage.”
“Simply put, to solve challenging societal problems and remain competitive on the global stage, we have to invest in research and development,” said Ross. “But we must do it strategically to ensure our investments are impactful. This country has a wealth of talent and expertise that can be marshaled towards achieving our national innovation goals. Yet, in recent decades, federal investment in research and development in the sciences has been on a downward trend. This legislation would require the federal government to take a methodical, comprehensive approach to plan for and meet our research and development needs. I applaud Rep. Waltz for spearheading this bill and look forward to working with him to advance it.”
“As Congress considers legislation to make an unprecedented investment in our federal research enterprise, it’s critical that we have a comprehensive strategy in place to guide those investments,” Lucas said. “We regularly review and update our national priorities for defense, homeland security, and energy, and our scientific and technological leadership is no less important. American research and development keeps us competitive globally and creates jobs in emerging industries here at home. A national science and technology strategy ensures we’ll stay focused on the most important research challenges, allowing us to make taxpayer dollars go farther as we maintain America’s status as the global leader in innovation."
“To address the pressing challenges of the 21st century and remain a global leader in science and technology, the United States must double down on strategic investments in research and development,” said Johnson. “Our nation boasts a talented and diverse cadre of scientists and engineers, poised to make transformational discoveries and innovations. A coordinated, whole-of-government approach will help ensure these investments have the intended benefits for our economy, national security, and public wellbeing. I am proud to introduce this legislation, alongside Ranking Member Lucas, Congresswoman Ross, and Congressman Waltz, which will help maintain and build American leadership in science and technology.”
The National Science and Technology Strategy Act moves forward on a provision first introduced by Lucas in H.R. 2153, the Securing American Leadership in Science and Technology Act (SALSTA). It directs OSTP to complete a comprehensive quadrennial review that will provide an overview of the nation’s innovation landscape and provide policymakers, industry, researchers, and other stakeholders with unbiased data and analysis to identify the future needs, barriers, and opportunities for U.S. science and technology. It also directs OSTP to take this analysis and develop a national science and technology strategy to provide recommendations for maintaining global leadership in science and technology.
The review will include analysis and recommendations to meet the following goals:
- Ensuring economic and national security
- Maintaining American leadership in science and technology
- Assessing global competition in science and technology
- Identifying potential threats to U.S. leadership science and technology
- Providing recommendations on strengthening the STEM workforce in the U.S.
- Improving regional innovation across the U.S.
- Providing the infrastructure tools needed to maintain science and technology leadership
- Reviewing administrative or legislative policies that affect the science and technology enterprise and making recommendations to change policies that hinder our research and development