France unveils $35B investment plan for innovative technology

France announced a $35 billion five-year plan to develop innovative technology and industrial activity to help boost its economic growth. An AP news story said the plan includes $9.2 billion to develop energy technology to help reduce greenhouse gas emissions and additional funding to finance small nuclear reactors. Called France 2030, the plan contains 10 objectives including making France a green hydrogen leader with at least two gigafactories of electrolysers that will produce hydrogen; decarbonize industry by reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 35 percent compared to 2015; produce nearly 2 million electric and hybrid vehicles; and, build low-carbon aircraft.

Want better industry and tech strategies? We need better data collection, ITIF says

The federal government has not developed strategic economic intelligence to understand the competitive position of its traded sectors, and the time is now for a more advanced technology strategy and that will require a better data collection system. That is one of the key takeaways of a recent report from the Information Technology and Innovation Foundation (ITIF). The report identifies three key areas with major statistical gaps and calls on Congress to fund modernization and expansion of federal statistical agency IT systems.

WV science and tech plan outlines recommendations to grow state’s economy

West Virginia has updated its Vision 2025: West Virginia Science & Technology Plan (S&T Plan), which identifies four areas (life sciences, computer and data science, advanced manufacturing, and advanced energy) representing significant and growing university-based research and educational activities that align with the state’s target industries and workforce development goals. 

New Manufacturing USA Technology Roadmap grant competition announced

The National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) has announced a new competition for awards to support industry-driven consortia in developing technology roadmaps that will address high-priority research challenges to grow the advanced manufacturing sector in the U.S. and is inviting applications to its Manufacturing USA Technology Roadmap (MfgTech) grants program.

GAO updates technology assessment design handbook

The Government Accountability Office (GAO) has updated its Technology Assessment Design Handbook, a program evaluation tool designed to assist in the development of robust technology assessments. First released to the public in December 2019, the handbook now includes additions based on the experiences of GAO teams, a review of relevant literature, and comments submitted by external experts. It also provides a high-level process for developing policy options. While the tool is designed for use by GAO staff, its methods and strategies are useful to any organization conducting a technology assessment.

Technology can lead to better jobs, more prosperity says MIT report

After two years of research on technology and jobs, MIT’s Task Force on the Work of the Future has issued its final report, and the news is hopeful: with better policies in place, more people could enjoy good careers even as new technology transforms workplaces.

Improved technologies could cut energy usage by 60 percent

With the continuing development of efficient technologies, energy consumption may drop 60 percent by 2050 while continuing to provide decent living standards, according to a new study. Research by the University of Leeds, published as Providing Decent Living with Minimum Energy: A Global Scenario in Global Environmental Change, developed a roadmap for lowering worldwide energy usage. The study found that global energy usage could fall over 60 percent from today’s levels through a combination of “the most efficient technologies available and radical demand-side transformations that reduce excess consumption to sufficiency-levels.”

US at a tipping point in science & engineering, new report shows

At a time that is often referred to as “The Age of Technology,” the U.S. has no coherent strategy for maintaining its high standing as a world leader in science, technology and innovation, and has watched as China has overtaken the country on many indicators of prowess in R&D and innovation. That assertion is among among the findings of a new report from the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, one that shows the country at a tipping point and failing to embrace necessary actions to maintain its leadership in science and engineering.

Tech seeking to address diversity, gender challenge

A leading technology association has stepped up to positively impact tech diversity and inclusion through a new challenge that aims to double the percentage of the state’s Black and Latinx tech workers — currently at 5 and 7 percent respectively — by the end of the decade. The Mass Technology Leadership Council (MassTLC) launched a 2030 Challenge earlier this week that also will continue to work towards gender parity in the state’s tech workforce. According to a release announcing the initiative, the new challenge came about in response to the organization’s benchmarking of the state’s tech sector, including key metrics on race, ethnicity and gender, which showed that the Massachusetts tech sector, one of the highest paying sectors in one of the most expensive regions in the country, does not adequately reflect the diverse population of the state.

PCAST recommends bold actions to ensure American leadership in industries of the future

The President’s Council of Advisors on Science and Technology (PCAST) is recommending a set of bold actions to help ensure continued American leadership in Industries of the Future (IotF), comprising artificial intelligence (AI), quantum information science (QIS), advanced manufacturing, advanced communications, and biotechnology. The three pillars underpinning these actions are: enhancing multi-sector engagement in research and innovation; creating a new institute structure that integrates one or more of the IotF areas and spans discovery research to product development; and ensuring the availability of a qualified, diverse IotF workforce.


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