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November and December 2014 Public Policy News

25 November: National Science Board Releases an Interactive Online  STEM Education Resource Website: The National Science Board recently released an  interactive STEM Education Resource Website which provides data, trends, and  analysis about science, technology, engineering and mathematics education and  careers.   The new service includes observations and findings on student proficiency, college STEM degrees, and  jobs in science-related occupations. Read more

25 November: Mildred Dresselhaus Awarded Presidential Medal of Freedom:
Mildred Dresselhaus was awarded the Presidential Medal of  Freedom by President Obama. Dresselhaus is a Professor of Physics and Electrical Engineering, Emerita Institute  Professor at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. She was the Chair of the Governing Board of the American Institute of Physics from 2003-2008. Read more


21 November: Coalitions Urge Funding Increases for NSF, Defense Basic  Research Program; Uncertain Appropriations Endgame: The Coalition for National Science Funding and the  Coalition for National Security Research have issued separate letters to  Members of Congress urging the passage of funding legislation providing the  National Science Foundation and the Department of Defense’s basic research  program with budget increases in FY 2015.  It is uncertain if Members will  be given an opportunity to vote on an omnibus appropriations bill with these  increases before short term funding expires on December 11. Read more

7 November: White House Report Recommends Nanotechnology Grand  Challenges:
A report issued by the President’s Council of Advisors on  Science and Technology urges coordinated federal action to support the  development of commercial products based on discoveries from nanotechnology  research.  Among the report's recommendations is the establishment of a  series of Grand Challenges to focus future nanotechnology R&D. Read more

6 November: The U.S. Department of Defense has announced the launch of a competition for proposals for an Integrated Photonics Manufacturing Institute: A Funding Opportunity Announcement (FAO) by the US Department of Defense (DOD), calling for concept papers for the establishment of an Integrated Photonics Institute for Manufacturing Innovation, was released on November 5th. A Proposers' Day event is scheduled for November 19th and the deadline for concept paper submission is December 19 2014. Learn more

The Institutes for Manufacturing Innovation (IMIs) will operate as R&D centers partnering public and private resources, and create new manufacturing capabilities for the country. Altogether, six IMIs have been announced. The integrated photonics institute is among four to be led by the Department of Defense (DoD), and has a planned government investment of up to $110 million to be shared at least 1:1 by the private sector.


5 November: NSF Funding Opportunities involving the BRAIN Initiative:
Deadline is fast approaching for required letters of intent: 10 December 2014, and for full proposals: 26 January 2015. This multi-directorate program is one element of NSF's broader aim to foster innovation in Cognitive Science and Neuroscience, a multi-year effort that includes NSF's participation in the Brain Research through Advancing Innovative Neurotechnologies (BRAIN) Initiative. Read and/or download the full program solicitation (PDF 1 MB)


5 November: Midterm Elections Result in GOP Senate Majority: U.S. Senate science panels will have new leadership, although the choices won't become official until January. Read more