Tomorrow the full Senate Appropriations Committee will be holding an major hearing on “Driving Innovation through Federal Investments.” This is important news as the list of witnesses being called is a who’s-who of Federal science agencies: the Secretary of Energy, the President’s science advisor, and the Directors of NSF, DARPA, and NIH. Of course, you might remember the Senate Appropriations Committee from being one half of being in charge of funding the Federal Government. As I said, MAJOR hearing next week.
The Appropriations Committee chairwoman, Senator Barbara Mikulski (D-MD), is a huge champion for science, and it’s clear that she feels the Federal Government can be doing more to spur innovation through investing in the science agencies. The science advocacy community in Washington is very excited, because our issues haven’t had such a high profile venue like this for some time.
To take advantage of that venue, CRA is joining with fifty other organizations in submitting testimony for the hearing. These organizations are organizing around the message “Close the Innovation Deficit,” which the Senate Appropriations Committee has picked up on. The term “Innovation Deficit” means the, “the widening gap between the actual level of federal government funding for research and higher education and what the investment needs to be if the United States is to remain the world’s innovation leader.” We’d highly recommend going to their website, checking out the video, and reading the testimony (it includes the other organizations which have signed on). We’ll have a recap of the hearing later in the week as well.