COMPETES Introduced in the House
Last Friday, the House Committee on Science and Technology Chairman Bart Gordon (D-TN) introduced HR 5116, America COMPETES Reauthorization Act of 2010.
COMPETES was originally signed into law in 2007 after receiving broad bipartisan support. It was based on recommendations from the National Academies’ report Rising Above the Gathering Storm. The current bill will expire at the end of FY 2010.
HR 5116 builds upon many of the initiatives from the 2007 America COMPETES Act while also adding provisions, such as innovative technology federal loan guarantees for small- and medium-sized manufacturers. The bill would also establish the creation of regional innovation clusters, which are envisioned to be regional collections of businesses and organization in the same, similar or complementary fields with open channels of communication between them. The bill also directs the Department of Commerce to conduct research on best practices and to create metrics and measurements that will help determine if programs are having the intended result.
"The recent economic crisis has reminded us of the importance of our economic competitiveness. Investments in science, innovation, and education will help ensure that the U.S. maintains our scientific and economic leadership long into the future. I also believe that investing in research and development will add jobs to our communities," said Chairman Gordon.
The full committee will hold a markup this week (see our hearings schedule) to incorporate good ideas that came up recently at the Subcommittee level. The Committee aims to get the legislation through the House before the Memorial Day district work period.