SIA Applauds Introduction of “Endless Frontier Act” to Advance U.S. Technology Leadership

Wednesday, May 27, 2020, 11:00am

by David Isaacs, Vice President, Government Affairs

SIA applauds the introduction of the “Endless Frontier Act,” a bipartisan, bicameral bill led by Sens. Schumer (D-NY) and Young (R-IN) in the Senate and Reps. Khanna (D-CA) and Gallagher (R-WI) in the House of Representatives. The bill seeks to maintain and build on U.S. scientific and technology leadership – including in semiconductors – by allocating more than $100 billion to science and technology initiatives.

America’s leadership in scientific and technological innovation has been a source of economic strength and a contributor to our national security. But this leadership is at risk, as highlighted by a report last year by the Task Force on American Innovation (TFAI), a coalition of industry, universities, and scientific societies and co-chaired by SIA. Federal investments in research over several years have been flat, while global competitors are investing heavily, thereby challenging American leadership in patents, scientific publications, and other key metrics of innovation.

The Endless Frontier Act seeks to remedy this problem and revitalize the U.S. scientific enterprise. Under the renamed National Science and Technology Foundation (NSTF), the bill would authorize $100 billion over 5 years and establish a new Technology Directorate with flexible authorities to reinvigorate American leadership in key technologies that will drive global competitiveness in the future. The new Directorate would fund research in 10 key technologies – including semiconductors – as well as related fields such as materials science and key technologies enabled by semiconductors, such as artificial intelligence, quantum computing, and advanced communications technologies. SIA called for a significant increase in research funding in its 2019 policy blueprint, Winning the Future, and the Endless Frontier Act is a major step forward to realizing this goal.

SIA commends the leadership of bill sponsors in advancing this legislation and calls for prompt action to enact it.