Budget Sequestration Would Stifle Research, Innovation

Monday, Oct 08, 2012, 1:00pm

by Semiconductor Industry Association

SIA recently joined with other members of the Task Force on American Innovation to send a letter to President Obama and congressional leaders expressing concern about the negative impact that the looming budget sequestration would have on funding for basic scientific research.  The letter’s signatories – representing a range of businesses, universities and professional associations – urged prompt action to prevent the sequestration from occurring while also achieving long-term deficit reduction.  clientuploads/innovation.jpg

The budget sequestration refers to a series of across-the-board federal spending cuts that are set to go into effect at the end of this year. Among the areas that would be hardest hit by cuts are federal investments in basic research, life sciences, aerospace, defense and more. Federal agencies such as the National Science Foundation (NSF) and the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST), which fund basic research in the areas that directly impact the semiconductor industry, could have their budgets cut by up to 9 percent.

It’s no secret that basic research is critical to sustaining the pipeline of discoveries that fuel our industry and the American economy.  Countless technological breakthroughs from our industry and others have come about directly because of federal investments in long-term research.  These breakthroughs create jobs, drive our economy and help build a better future for our country.

On Sept. 20, SIA participated in a panel discussion on Capitol Hill about the sequestration’s negative impact on innovation industries, and we will continue conveying this message to Congress and the Administration in the coming weeks.

Policymakers should chart a path forward during the congressional recess and return to Washington, D.C. after the election with a plan to prevent the sequestration and spur economic growth.