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The source for actionable policy ideas to spur innovation.

Intelligent technology could revolutionize the way we distribute and consume energy. But to harness these benefits requires a key ingredient: consumer access to data, including historical usage and real time information on consumption and current prices, in machine-readable formats they can share with authorized third parties to facilitate energy control and choice. However, many states lag in...
Just a five percentage point increase in the offshore royalty rate could produce an additional $2 billion in revenues—and potentially much more—in the coming years. Current rates are below those in many other industrialized countries, and increasing royalty rates would enable the United States to harness the economic value of fossil fuel reserves for direct clean energy investment. The...
Having a national manufacturing strategy means designing the nation’s business, regulatory, and innovation policy environments to make the United States the world’s most attractive location for R&D and business investment in manufacturing (including foreign direct investment). A national manufacturing strategy would include a coherent set of policies based on the four T’s: technology, tax,...
Create an Administration inter-agency taskforce that includes the State Department, US AID, Commerce, USTR, Justice, Labor, and other agencies as appropriate that works to identify cases where U.S. foreign aid policy acts as a mercantilist enabler. Such a taskforce should recommend specific actions, including tying U.S. foreign aid to reduction of other countries’ mercantilist practices using...
The Administration should task the Federal CIO with redesigning business.gov and undertaking a strategic design review of the federal and state small business registration process, redesigning it to create an integrated business registration Website encompassing both federal and state requirements and contemplating the entire lifecycle of needs for small business start-ups, thus creating a one-...
The Young Entrepreneurial Fellowship program would be a modest Small Business Administration (SBA) program, with funding of $5 million per year, to support the living expenses of 25 young entrepreneurs for two years each. An outside panel of entrepreneurs would help SBA review proposals and business plans from applicants. The fellows would also receive mentoring and other technical assistance as...
Providing more opportunities for college STEM students to work in industry, especially early in their college careers, will help encourage more students to stay in STEM. As a result, the White House should request through executive order that government agencies begin sitting some of their student fellowship/internships/co-ops/summer jobs in industry locations (e.g., an agency’s industry...
One way to expand academic linkages with industry is to require more industry or other organization funding of research. Doing this would broaden the range of inputs during the framing of research projects. Contributions should be small and could be cash or in-kind; the purpose is merely to force up-front communication outside the academic sector. Research projects designed to ultimately yield...
Doctoral fellowships are key factors in producing more Ph.D. degrees in Science, Technology, Engineering and Math (STEM). But the number of NSF graduate research fellowships awarded per thousand college students graduating with degrees in science and engineering dropped from over seven in the early 1960s to just over two in 2005. Rather than simply expand funding for the NSF Graduate Research...
Industry-university partnerships not only spur more commercialization and innovation, they also boost STEM education outcomes. But these partnerships are the exception rather than the rule. To change this, federal agencies should require industry co-funding of many academic research centers, including all the NSF Engineering Research Centers. In addition, Congress should allocate funding for a...
Federal agencies supporting university research in STEM should adopt a policy whereby any graduate or post-doctoral student on an assistantship, fellowship, or other form of federal support can petition for a no-cost extension of their assistantship, fellowship, or traineeship, which would allow them to take a “entrepreneurial leave” for one to two years to start a company, and be guaranteed...
Approximately 75 percent of college students would prefer an interdisciplinary education, and such training is also needed for workforce skills. There are a number of steps that should be taken to expand interdisciplinary learning. Congress should expand the NSF IGERT Program by a factor of three, to $30 million in annual funding. Where allowed by law, federal agencies should redefine all...
Because undergraduate research is a highly engaging experience with a track record of greatly diminishing student dropout/switch out from STEM, such experiences should be moved to student’s first year of college, as a prophylactic against dropout/switch out endemic to the freshman year. Such a move could increase national B.S. output by as much as 20 percent. To facilitate this transition, the...
Virtual schools, video games, and other software-based learning can play a key role in boosting STEM education. But more and better tools need to be developed. Congress should allocate $20 million to the National Science Foundation for the development of STEM-related learning tools and products that are intended to be disseminated jointly through the nations’ emerging network of virtual schools....
To give students access to courses that are not offered by their own schools, Congress should mandate credit reciprocity across state lines, and between virtual and physical schools, via the Elementary and Secondary Authorization Act. Schools receiving federal funding would have to give their own students graduation credit for courses taken at virtual schools, either in-state or out-of-state, as...