Hill Briefing Highlights Importance of Federal Research Investments

Monday, Jun 27, 2016, 5:30pm

by Semiconductor Industry Association

SIA moderated a congressional briefing last Friday on federally funded R&D and the research breakthroughs that have enabled smartphone technology. The briefing was hosted by IEEE in coordination with the House R&D Caucus, which is chaired by Rep. Barbara Comstock (R-Va.) and Rep. Bill Foster (D-Ill.). The purpose of the event was to give congressional staff an overview of research collaborations among industry, academia, and government research agencies that have led to advances in everyday applications.


Expert panelists from Qualcomm, the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST), and the University of Maryland Fraunhofer Center gave presentations on critical research in metrology and communications technology. SIA member company Qualcomm was represented by Susan Armstrong, Senior Vice President of Engineering, who played an important role in developing the first smartphone that was able to surf the internet. Susan brought the original flip-phone with web surfing capability to display for congressional staff.

SIA linked the discussion and the Q&A session with staff back to the importance of research funding legislation, including COMPETES legislation and relevant appropriations bills, that are currently active in the House and Senate. Staffers walked away with an understanding of how basic research leads to advances in everyday technological applications and the need to continue making federal investments in R&D.

The U.S. semiconductor industry invests about one-fifth of sales revenues into R&D annually, more than any other industry. It is critical that the federal government serves as a reliable partner in funding research to kickstart the next generation of semiconductor-enabled innovation.