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SSTI Digest

Senate Creates Manufacturing and Competitiveness Subcommittee

The U.S. Senate's Committee on Commerce, Science, and Transportation has established a new subcommittee to focus on manufacturing and competitiveness issues. Spencer Abraham (R-MI) will chair the Manufacturing and Competitiveness Subcommittee.

Internet Has Had Little Impact, Manufacturers Say

Only 13 percent of midsize manufacturers reported that the growth of the Internet has had "a great deal of" or "some" impact on their companies over the past two years, according to a survey conducted for Grant Thornton LLP. However, the manufacturers expect that to change in the next two years. The survey found that 50 percent of the manufacturers expected the growth of the Internet to have "a great deal of" or "some" impact on their companies.

FY98 Budget:S&T Highlights

Last Thursday, the Clinton Administration released its detailed budget proposal for FY98. The requested 2% rise in research and development funding reflects the constraints facing discretionary spending programs: the call to balance the budget while costs for entitlement programs and debt service are growing.

White House, Governors Agree to Cooperate on Technology Issues

An agreement between the White House and the National Governors' Association (NGA) to establish a new mechanism, the U.S. Innovation Partnership, for coordinating federal and state technology efforts was announced by Vice President Gore and NGA's Lead Governors on Technology John G. Rowland, (R-CT), and Parris N. Glendening, (D-MD), earlier this week.

State-Federal Technology Executive for OSTP Sought

A State-Federal Technology Executive (SFTE) to serve in the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy (OSTP) is being sought. The SFTE, sponsored by the American Society of Mechanical Engineers (ASME), is a one year old initiative designed to encourage broad-scale science and technology cooperation between the states and the federal government. The SFTE will have responsibility for facilitating state-federal collaborative efforts via the newly formed United States Innovation Partnership (consisting of the National Governors' Association, OSTP and the Dept. of Commerce).

NIH Center Seeking Comments on Strategic Plan

The National Center for Research Resources (NCRR) of the National Institutes of Health is seeking input as it updates its 1994 strategic plan, NCRR: A Catalyst for Discovery.

"Corporate Welfare" Salvos Largely Spare S&T

Calls for an end to "corporate welfare" increased this week with an unusual coalition unveiling a list of targeted programs and nine senators calling for a commission to review federal subsidies to companies.

Federal S&T Spending Levels Off After Declining

The final appropriation for federal science and technology (FS&T) for FY 1997 is $43.4 billion, a slight increase (0.7 percent) over the FY 1996 appropriation, according to a new report by the National Academy of Sciences (NAS).

Women & Minorities Progress in S&E Field Limited

Women and minorities continue to take fewer high-level mathematics and science courses in high school; earn fewer bachelor's, master's and doctoral degrees in science and engineering (S&E); and remain less likely to be employed in S&E jobs than white males.

Guide to NIST Available

The new Guide to NIST, a one-stop information resource on the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST), is now available. The 164-page volume describes hundreds of different research projects, grants, industry outreach programs, services and facilities. The publication updates a 1993 edition. Requests for the guide can be faxed to 301/926-1630. An electronic version will be available online later this year on the NIST home page at http://www.nist.gov

USIP Holds Regional Meetings

The National Governors' Association (NGA), the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy, and the Technology Administration of the U.S. Department of Commerce are holding two more regional meetings to get input from state officials and others on the direction of the U.S. Innovation Partnership (USIP).

Western Europe Increasing Competitiveness in R&D Capacity

During the past decade, the European Union (EU) invested heavily in civilian R&D by building first-class laboratories and expanding higher education in science and engineering. Its efforts, according to the Data Brief for a new National Science Foundation report, Human Resources for Science and Technology: The European Region, are narrowing the lead the U.S. holds in R&D.