policy

Commentary: American Jobs Plan — Moving Forward

Much of the public policy and governmental spending focus to date regarding COVID recovery has been just that: recovery. The infrastructure proposal, the America Jobs Plan (AJP), President Biden unveiled this week represents his proposal to start moving forward.  In remarks about the proposal, he described it as “not a plan that tinkers around the edges,” a “once-in-a-generation investment” that will lead to “transformational progress.”

Congressional moves to increase R&D

While President Biden’s infrastructure proposal with heavy investments in science, technology and innovation garnered most of the press attention in the last week, a number of other developments occurred in or impacting federal policy, including:

Proposed changes to MSA standards creating concern

In January, the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) posted a request for public comment on the recommendations it has received from the Metropolitan and Micropolitan Statistical Area Standards Review Committee for changes to metropolitan and micropolitan statistical area standards. The 123 comments that have been recorded to date reflect a level of concern regarding changing the population threshold for urban areas and the impact on future funding that would have for these areas.

Kauffman updates entrepreneurship policy platform

The Ewing Marion Kauffman Foundation and Start Us Up coalition announced an update to the America’s New Business Plan platform to advance entrepreneurship. The update places a strong emphasis on the importance of addressing the historical inequities of the American economy, as well as the urgent concerns of the coronavirus pandemic. The lead-in to the specific policy proposals also acknowledges the importance of providing sufficient support to new companies, not just all small businesses.

Report explores ways to ramp up decarbonization of the U.S. energy system

Policymakers will need to consider the larger social and economic conditions associated with efforts to decarbonize the U.S. energy system if the nation is to reach net-zero carbon emissions by 2050.

Report: Heartland stands to benefit most from reshoring

The COVID-19 pandemic highlighted the country’s reliance on overseas manufacturing production when there was a lack of medical supplies and equipment to treat those affected by the virus as supply chains were reliant on supplies from outside the country. A recent report from Heartland Forward finds that many domestic and foreign companies are recognizing the strategic advantages of locating in the U.S. and are considering reshoring operations.

Research makes case for larger publicly-backed pre-seed/innovation funds as pandemic persists

Key findings from two independent research projects reveal the pandemic’s corrosive effect on the nation’s innovation commercialization capacity. The projects separately explored how two related innovation financing components — angel investment and venture capital — were reacting to the coronavirus-caused slowdown. Individually, the results might appear simply as yet more interesting curiosities about the pandemic. Considered together, however, and one begins to see the potential unraveling of the broader U.S. innovation tapestry required to support long-term economic prosperity.

How new antitrust rules may affect tech startups

In Washington and Brussels, lawmakers are increasingly vocal about expanding the application of antitrust rules within the tech sector. Recent activity includes a report from Democrats on the House antitrust subcommittee, the Trump administration preparing an antitrust suit against Google, and the European Union (EU) considering new antitrust rules following billions of dollars in fines to major tech companies. While much of these actions’ coverage focuses on how changes would affect the companies that are being targeted by these efforts, the impacts would affect the entire tech sector.

What a second Trump administration might mean for science and innovation

[Update Oct. 1] Editor’s note: On Sept. 25, the Trump campaign released a new document, “The Platinum Plan,” containing proposals described as “President Trump’s promise to Black America.” Our original story has been updated to reflect new proposals stated in this plan.

Bipartisan legislation would provide $110 billion for R&D, regional innovation

A bipartisan, bicameral group of legislators have introduced bills that would make a five-year commitment to increase America’s investment in R&D by $100 billion, while also investing $10 bi

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