In testimony to the U.S. House of Representatives Committee on Science, Space and Technology Subcommittee on Energy, Matthew Stepp argued that federally funded research results in scientific discovery that can play a positive role in America’s economic future. He explained that after a year of research with the labs, DOE, industry, and academia it became plainly apparent that the current system needs substantial reform. He emphasized that taxpayer resources should be used as effectively as possible and that market forces can help bring efficiency and rationality to the lab system.
Science and R&D
Turning the Page: Reimagining the National Labs in the 21st Century Innovation Economy
The National Labs are a tremendous R&D resource, but their operations are still based on a decades-old management model that no longer meets the needs of our modern innovation ecosystem. This study presents a series of concrete proposals for Congress and the Administration that can ensure the Labs better meet their mission and produce useful technologies that benefit the American economy.
Cicada Tracker and the Future of Citizen Sensing
The massive cicada bloom that spread across the eastern seaboard this spring is winding down, but its end heralds another gradually emerging entity: citizen sensing. The Cicada Tracker—a community data-gathering initiative for documenting the noisy insects’ emergence from their burrows—was a rousing success, and it should encourage data innovators across the country to think about what a few motivated citizens and some commodity hardware can do for their communities.
The Real Story on Guestworkers in the High-skill U.S. Labor Market
Recently, the Economic Policy Institute issued a report claiming that there is no shortage of U.S. STEM workers and that increases in high-skill immigration are not needed and detrimental to the U.S. economy. In this report, ITIF presents a detailed rebuttal of the EPI analysis to provide a more accurate picture of the high skill labor market. We find that the EPI report's conclusions are simply not supported by the evidence. In fact, the U.S. does not produce enough STEM workers domestically, STEM wages and jobs have grown significantly over the last decade, and high-skill guestworkers are a complement, not a substitute, to American high-skill labor.
Canada is Right to Focus on Applied Research
In an op-ed for the Ottawa Citizen, Rob Atkinson argues the Canadian government made the right decision in choosing to refocus its National Research Council on industrially-relevant research and the United States should follow the lead of our neighbor to the north
A Research Investor’s Visa Would Spur U.S. Economic and Employment Growth
At least nine competitor nations—Australia, Canada, Chile, China, Germany, Ireland, Israel, Singapore, and the United Kingdom—have implemented innovative policies to attract foreign entrepreneurs and investors to their countries as part of a concerted effort to design their nations’ immigration strategies in ways that drive economic and employment growth. These countries “see immigration as an integral part of their national economic strategy—a factor in their prosperity as significant as education and infrastructure.” It’s time the United States does the same. A research investor’s visa would represent an innovative path to U.S. citizenship that at the same time boosts R&D investment and the competitiveness of the U.S. economy.