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Latest Public Policy News

Host a Congressional Visit:  Congress is in the midst of a seven-week recess period until September 5, which offers a great opportunity to build on our success with America COMPETES by hosting a site visit for your local congressional representatives. The NPI has prepared a step-by-step guide to walk you through the process of setting up a congressional visit, from the first steps of making the request all the way through promoting the visit afterwards.  Download The Guide

2 August 2016: Intel CEO Speaks at White House Drone Workshop: Brian Krzanich, chief executive officer of Intel Corporation, speaks at an event sponsored by the The White House Office of Science and Technology Policy on the subject of drones and the future of aviation. Read More

21 July 2016: Tensions Arise between DOD and Congress over Future of Defense Innovation and Research: In its research and development planning, the Defense Department is currently following a strategy referred to as the Third Offset, which focuses heavily on technological innovation and implementation. Congress, though, has pushed back on DOD's Third Offset priorities, allocating higher than requested funding for early-stage research while looking to keep a tighter rein on special innovation initiatives personally backed by Secretary of Defense Ashton Carter. Read More

21 July 2016: Obama Administration Announces Federal and Private Sector Actions to Accelerate Electric Vehicle Adoption in the United States: On the heels of the United States Department of Energy's (DOE) first-ever Sustainable Transportation Summit, the Administration is announcing an unprecedented set of actions from the Federal government, private sector, and states, as well as a new framework for collaboration for vehicle manufacturers, electric utilities, electric vehicle charging companies, and states, all geared towards accelerating the deployment of electric vehicle charging infrastructure and putting more electric vehicles on the road. Read More

19 July 2016: House Passes Basic Energy Research Bills and NIST Improvement Act: The House passed two bills, The "Solar Fuels Innovation Act" and the "Electricity Storage Innovation Act" which would establish new basic energy research initiatives at the Department of Energy, as well as a bill which would update policies for certain NIST programs and direct a comprehensive National Academies review of NIST laboratories. Read More

19 July 2016: Obama Administration Announces Clean Energy Savings for All Initiative: The Obama Administration announced a new cross government partnership - the Clean Energy Savings For All Initiative - between the Departments of Energy (DOE), Housing and Urban Development (HUD), Agriculture (USDA), Health and Human Services (HHS), Veteran's Affairs (VA), and the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to increase access to solar energy and promote energy efficiency across the United States and, in particular in low- and moderate- income communities. Read More

15 July 2016: House Science Hearing Looks to Future of Astronomy, Astrophysics, and Astrobiology: Leaders in astronomy, astrophysics, and astrobiology received a warm welcome from the House Subcommittees on Space and on Research and Technology. The witnesses fielded a wide range of questions, including on how new projects are prioritized and funded, how the scientific workforce is being developed and diversified, and the search for extraterrestrial life. Read More

13 July 2016: Senate Proposes Restructured Defense R&D Leadership, Expresses Interest in Lab Governance Reform: Among its most significant science-related provisions, the National Defense Authorization Act passed by the Senate would assign management of Department of Defense R&D to a reconstituted Under Secretary of Defense for Research & Engineering. The bill also contains multiple measures to improve DOD's ability to hire top technical talent, and the authoring committee expresses interest in "comprehensive defense lab governance reform." Read More

11 July 2016: Weather Satellite Programs Back in the Hot Seat: House Environment Subcommittee Chairman Rep. Jim Bridenstine has convened another in a series of hearings on the nation's weather satellite programs, building on his ongoing interest in the programs' management and future. Read More

6 July 2016: National Academies Reiterates Call for Research Policy Board; Congress Acting on Recommendation: In Part 2 of its report on research regulations, a National Academies committee reiterates its call for Congress to create a Research Policy Board and urges the administration to not revise human subjects research regulations until a new national commission weighs in on the subject. Congress has begun to act on the Research Policy Board recommendation. Read More

30 June 2016: NPI Hosts Webinar and Releases White Paper on the National Cancer Moonshot: The National Photonics Initiative held a webinar on 30 June 2016 to discuss Achieving the Goals of the National Cancer Moonshot through Adoption of New and Enhanced Technologies and a Transformed IT Health System Confirmation. The webinar was in conjunction with the release of a white paper and cancer technology road map that identifies the most promising existing and new technologies for increased and concerted private and public investment to achieve the goals of the National Cancer Moonshot. The white paper and webinar are available on the National Photonics Initiative website. Read More

29 June 2016: Senate Commerce Committee Advances "American Innovation and Competitiveness Act": The Senate Commerce Committee approved the "American Innovation and Competitiveness Act" which is the successor to the 2010 America COMPETES Act, with a provision that calls on federal science agencies, industry, and academia to seek partnerships to advance optics and photonics technologies and capabilities. Read More

27 June 2016: Science and Brexit: After the dramatic vote by the United Kingdom (UK) to leave the European Union (EU) created a large funding gap for scientific research, UK scientists are called to press policymakers in the government to help foster new and existing scientific collaborations with EU scientists and scientific organizations. Read More

10 June 2016: National Science Board Elects New Chair and Vice Chair: In May, the National Science Board elected planetary geophysicist Maria Zuber as chair and computer scientist Diane Souvaine as vice chair. With France Córdova serving as National Science Foundation Director, top leadership positions at the foundation are now all occupied by women for the first time. Read More

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