congress

Bipartisan infrastructure act includes billions for regional innovation

Congress passed the bipartisan infrastructure framework, formally, the Infrastructure and Investment Jobs Act, and President Joe Biden is expected to sign it the week of Nov. 15. While small as a percentage of the trillion-dollar total, there are a number of proposed items that can support regional innovation economies, with broadband being the highest funded.

Congress begins work on $3.5 trillion human infrastructure, includes $45 billion for House science to allocate

Early on Wednesday, the Senate passed a budget resolution that will serve as the framework for a human infrastructure bill. The current proposal is for $3.5 trillion in spending. This legislation, should it pass, seems likely to include substantial funding for regional innovation. More specifically, the Senate’s plans indicate that funding would support Regional Technology Hubs and other components of the US Innovation and Competition Act (USICA). 

Regional innovation highlights in infrastructure bill

Editor’s note: The Senate passed the Infrastructure and Investment Jobs Act on Aug. 10, 2021. This article has been updated to reflect the final amendments and new information on next steps for the legislation.

House committee approves $50 million for Build to Scale, $275 million for MEP and more

The House Committee on Appropriations advanced an FY 2022 funding bill that provides for substantial increases to many science and innovation programs.

Innovation Advocacy Council chair testifies on SBA programs and job creation

Last week, SSTI’s Innovation Advocacy Council chair Ben Johnson (also of BioSTL) testified before a subcommittee of the House Committee on Small Business about the role that innovation plays in job creation and how the U.S. Small Business Administration’s (SBA) Regional Innovation Clusters (RIC) and Growth Accelerators Fund Competition (GAFC) support these efforts.

Building blocks of regional innovation economies explored; SSTI gives testimony in support of national effort

Outlining the need for a new national effort to build regional innovation economies, a panel of experts gave testimony to the Research and Technology subcommittee of the House Committee on Science, Space and Technology, chaired by Rep. Haley Stevens (D-MI). The panel focused on how regions have developed their innovation economies and how those experiences could be replicated across the country with federal support.

Endless Frontier Act would expand federal science, innovation competitiveness

Last week, a bipartisan, bicameral group of legislators reintroduced the Endless Frontier Act, a bill that would authorize more than $112 billion over five years for new research and commercialization activities within the National Science Foundation (NSF) and the Department of Commerce. This proposal would establish multiple tools at each agency to support regional innovation economies. Sen.

Senate restructures science, commerce subcommittees

The U.S. Senate Committee on Commerce, Science and Transportation announced a new structure for its subcommittees in the 117th Congress, bringing the total number from six to seven. The subcommittees are:

Members named to entrepreneurship and innovation committees in the 117th Congress

Editor’s notes. Feb. 18: We have updated the article to reflect assignments to key subcommittees in both the House and Senate. 

Nearly a month into the 117th Congress, formal committee assignments are being announced. The highest-priority committees for tech-based economic development policies are those affecting science and small business issues. The lists, below, provide a description of those committees in the Senate and House for the next two years.

Senate Commerce Committee

Changes coming to congressional science, small business committees

As of this writing, control of Congress remains officially undecided, although the end result will likely be status quo: Republican control of the Senate and Democratic control of the House. While the discourse and activity around major legislation may not change, there will be changes to the committees that most strongly impact science and small business legislation. The new members will not be determined until the next session, but multiple departures from these committees are already known.

Senate

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