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December 2016 Public Policy News

13 December 2016: Science Funding in Limbo as Congress Extends Continuing Resolution Through 28 April: The president's budget and House and Senate appropriations proposals for fiscal year 2017 included multiple funding and programmatic changes for the federal science agencies, but these changes are in limbo after lawmakers extended the federal government’s spending on a continuing resolution through 28 April.  Learn More

12 December 2016: Senate Approves Gardner-Peters American Innovation and Competitiveness Act: The Senate approved the American Innovation and Competitiveness Act, a bicameral, bipartisan legislative compromise originally introduced by Senators Cory Gardner (R-CO) and Gary Peters (D-MI), along with John Thune (R-SD), and Bill Nelson (D-FL), that maximizes basic research opportunities, reduces administrative burdens for researchers, encourages scientific entrepreneurship, and promotes oversight of taxpayer-funded research.  Learn More

9 December 2016: The Podesta Group to deliver Keynote Presentation at SPIE Photonics West 2017: Josh Holly of the Podesta Group will deliver a keynote presentation on Thursday 2 February 2017 at Photonics West. The leading Washington DC lobbyist will speak on Navigating Science, Technology and the Budget in President Trump's Washington, addressing what is being heard on the hill regarding budgets behind emerging technologies and science.  Learn More

9 December 2016: Congress Passes National Defense Authorization Act: Both the House and Senate have passed the fiscal year 2017 "National Defense Authorization Act." The NDAA is a bill, passed annually, that authorizes and sets policy for defense programs at the Defense and Energy Departments, including defense R&D.  Read More

1 December 2016: SPIE Applauds House Leaders for Passage of the 21st Century Cures Act: SPIE and other members and supporters of the National Photonics Initiative are commending the U.S. House of Representatives’ passage this week of a bill that provides $4.8 billion for three key research programs over the next 10 years. The 21st Century Cures Act supports Cancer Moonshot, the Brain Research Through Advancing Innovative Neurotechnologies (BRAIN) Initiative, and the Precision Medicine Initiative.  Read More

30 November 2016: Five-year Extension for Innovative Federal R&D Programs is Good News for Photonics: Leaders of SPIE, the international society for optics and photonics are welcoming news of a proposed five-year extension for SBIR and STTR programs supporting innovative U.S.-owned and -operated small businesses engaged in federally funded research and development with strong commercial potential.  Read More

28 November 2016: National Nanotechnology Initiative Signaling Focus on Collaboration 'Ecosystem': The National Nanotechnology Initiative has released the triennial update of its strategic plan. Among its new features, the plan now stresses the need to further develop the nanotechnology community’s collaboration “ecosystem” and to promote the development and sharing of data, computer models, and simulations.  Read More

28 November 2016: Scientific Society CEOs Ask Trump to Draw on S&T Expertise: In a letter to President-elect Donald Trump, the CEOs of 29 national scientific societies are calling on Trump to quickly appoint a science advisor and draw on S&T expertise to address national challenges.  Read More

25 November 2016: SPIE Leaders Commend Revised US Policy on Travel to Conferences: SPIE President Robert Lieberman, SPIE CEO Eugene Arthurs, and other SPIE leaders have commended the "common sense reforms" of a revised US government travel policy that improves the approval process for government scientists to attend scientific conferences to present their research. The action by the Office of Management and Budget improves the process while maintaining responsible accountability and transparency over government resources.  Read the Memorandum

18 November 2016: Science & Technology in Congress FY 2017: A new report offers a comprehensive review of R&D funding decisions in the current appropriations cycle. This project, which provides a set of analyses on R&D funding debates in the FY 2017 budget cycle, is a collective product of the Intersociety Working Group, a long-running and evolving collaboration of more than two dozen leading science societies and other organizations in the science and innovation policy realm.  Download the Report

15 November 2016: Election 2016: Outlook for Science in the ‘Lame Duck’ and 115th Congresses: With Republicans winning one-party control of the federal government in the 8 November election, the party now has more latitude to advance its priorities. Implications for science will begin to unfold in the “lame duck” session of Congress that opened 14 November.  Read More

Read more past issues of the Public Policy News.