Universities and businesses urge Congress for more research support

A coalition of 14 business, higher education and scientific organizations on Feb. 27 launched a creative video urging Congress to Close the Innovation Deficit with strong federal investments in research and higher education.

The four-minute video, featuring rapidly hand-drawn images and text, can be viewed at www.innovationdeficit.org. The innovation deficit is the gap between actual and needed federal investments in research and higher education at a time when other nations such as China, India and Singapore are dramatically boosting research funding to develop the next great technological and medical breakthroughs.

"Investments in science and research carry with them significant benefits for our nation and the world," said Neil Sharkey, Penn State's interim vice president for research. "Research at universities, including our own, is being seriously impacted by the slow down in federal investment. There is no way of knowing what breakthroughs have been lost to a lack of support, but we do know that past federal investments in scientific research have resulted in life-changing innovations and advances."

The video, which is part of a larger campaign, explains the direct link between basic research, economic growth, improved medical treatments and national security. It also points out the risk that recent cuts to research pose to the United States’ role as the global innovation leader at a time when other nations are rapidly increasing their research investments.

The 14 organizations behind the Close the Innovation Deficit video are the Aerospace Industries Association (AIA), American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS), American Council on Education (ACE), American Heart Association (AHA), Association of American Universities (AAU), Association of Public and Land-grant Universities (APLU), Business-Higher Education Forum (BHEF), Council on Competitiveness (CoC), Federation of American Societies for Experimental Biology (FASEB), Information Technology & Innovation Foundation (ITIF), Semiconductor Industry Association (SIA), Task Force on American Innovation (TFAI), The Science Coalition (TSC) and United for Medical Research (UMR).

The Close the Innovation Deficit campaign is an effort by these and other organizations that are concerned about cuts and stagnating federal investments in research and higher education. The groups believe the U.S. must make strong and sustained investments in these areas to develop the people, ideas and innovations needed to ensure that the U.S. maintains its role as global leader. These communities also believe that the growth supported by innovation will help address the nation’s long-term fiscal problems.

In addition to the new video, the redesigned Close the Innovation Deficit website now features an array of compelling charts that detail the impact that U.S. cuts and foreign investments are having on the nation’s role as innovation leader. Visit it at http://www.innovationdeficit.org/.

Last Updated March 03, 2014