Science, business leaders support American Competitiveness Initiative

"President Bush in his recent State of the Union address outlined a bold American Competitiveness Initiative (ACI) that, if fully funded and implemented, will enable the U.S. to retain its preeminent global position as world economic leader," said E. Ann Nalley, Ph.D., President of the American Chemical Society, the world's largest scientific society.

The White House estimates that a federal commitment of $5.9 billion will be needed for Fiscal Year 2007, and more than $136 billion over the next ten years to fully enact the ACI by increasing investments in research and development (R&D), strengthening education, and encouraging entrepreneurship and innovation.

Several other organizations, including the Alliance for Science & Technology Research in America and the Business Roundtable, indicate they also support bolstering America's competitiveness by increased funding for research in the physical sciences and for education in science, technology, engineering and mathematics. A list of these organizations along with comments from their leaders are included in this release.

"The President recognizes the critical importance of science and technology to America's long-term competitiveness and capacity to innovate. His 2007 Budget request reflects this," Nalley said. "We are very supportive of the Administration's decision to double the investment for the Department of Energy's (DOE) Office of Science and the National Science Foundation.

"DOE's Office of Science is the largest supporter of basic physical science research and steward of our nation's world class national laboratories, and this increase will ensure that America's research and development community has the resources and facilities necessary to maintain our lead in top notch research," Nalley added. "Equally important is the National Science Foundation, which is the primary source of support for university and academic research in the physical sciences, funding high-leverage areas such as nanotechnology research, chemistry, physics, mathematics and engineering.

"We are also delighted that the ACI has proposed $380 million in new targeted education funding that will bolster teacher skills, encourage students in math, and make it easier for trained scientists to teach."

The American Chemical Society is a nonprofit organization, chartered by the U.S. Congress, with a multidisciplinary membership of more than 158,000 chemists and chemical engineers. It publishes numerous scientific journals and databases, convenes major research conferences and provides educational, science policy and career programs in chemistry. Its main offices are in Washington, D.C., and Columbus, Ohio.

Other organizations and their comments are:

  • Alliance for Science & Technology Research in America- "The President's leadership helps the public understand the crucial link between basic scientific research and technology, as well as the ultimate benefits these bring to all Americans through innovation. Today's budget is an essential step to reversing more than a decade of under-funding of basic research. We have many miles to go, but this is a tremendously important step in the right direction."- Mary L. Good, Chairman
  • American Astronomical Society– "I look forward to working with Congress to move the President's plans for improving basic research from the drawing board to reality. The result will be a bright future for America."– Robert P. Kirshner, President
  • Biophysical Society- "The ACI represents a crucial advance for the nation's scientific and technological engines of innovation, and for educating our next-generation of innovators. We applaud the President's recognition of our need to remain competitive on a global scale. U.S. high-risk research has been at high risk itself in recent years; this action is overdue."– Steven M. Block Ph.D, President
  • Business Roundtable– "We are extremely pleased that the President has committed to increase America's scientific and technological capabilities as a central part of his domestic agenda. The President clearly understands that in order to keep America atop the world economy, U.S. companies need a talented and capable workforce to develop the innovations of tomorrow." –Arthur F. Ryan, Chairman,Education & the Workforce Task Force (Chairman and CEO,Prudential Financial, Inc.)
  • Center for Accelerating Innovation– "The American Competitiveness Initiative is a smart investment in basic research, science and math education, business innovation and the world's talent. Bolstering U.S. creativity and innovation is the key to making globalization a huge opportunity, not athreat."– Egils Milbergs, President
  • Institute of Food Technologists – "The Institute of Food Technologists applauds the President's focus upon science and science education acknowledging its critical underpinning of America's economic vitality through ACI. Our members are excited to see science and science education recognized as the fuel of American innovation, and look forward to working with the science community along with Congress to generate the necessary support for ACI." – Margaret Lawson, President
  • Materials Research Society – "On behalf of the Materials Research Society, which represents 13,000 professional scientists and engineers from around the world, I want to applaud your efforts to revitalize America's science and technology enterprise." – Peter F. Green, President
  • Semiconductor Industry Association – "President Bush stated unequivocally in the State of the Union that 'the only way to control our own destiny is by our own leadership - so the United States of America will continue to lead.'Doubling our investments in the physical sciences, making the R&D tax credit permanent, improving math and science education, and raising the cap on H-1B employment visas are all concrete steps to ensure that American keeps its leadership in the high technology." – George Scalise, President

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Other supporting organizations include the American Society of Agronomy, Crop Science Society of America and Soil Science Society of America.


Last reviewed: By John M. Grohol, Psy.D. on 21 Feb 2009
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