Hopeful start to the new year that on January 6th the Department of Commerce released a meaty report and policy paper The Competitiveness and Innovative Capacity of the United States to the U.S. Congress. This work indicates the growing level of urgency around our slipping national competitiveness and the need for both sides of the aisle to take this seriously and think and act long term. In advocating for more support of STEM education, government investment in research, and needed incentives for industry, the paper is an interesting follow up to the National Academies’ 2005 Rising Above the Gathering Storm, which formally presented many of these same ideas and messages. While Gathering Storm was considered a wake-up call at the time, sadly we are not in any better a position seven years later. It also came from an academic perspective, but now we have Commerce, advised by the National Economic Council, beating the drum. By summarizing the abundance of issues, from SmartGrid to broadband spectrum management to next gen air traffic control and more, hopefully the new Competitiveness and Innovation report will start getting Congress more focused on these big issues that are already impacting us economically and socially.
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