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PCAST Tackles Spectrum Sharing, Advanced Manufacturing

Mark Marich

Broadband Connectivity

Last week was a busy one for the President’s Council of Advisors on Science & Technology, an advisory group of the nation’s leading scientists and engineers who make policy recommendations “where understanding of science, technology and innovation is key to strengthening our economy.” In two separate reports, PCAST explored approaches to meet the sky-rocketing demand for wireless broadband as well as the necessary steps to provide long-term U.S. leadership in advanced manufacturing.

With global mobile data doubling each year for the past four years, continuing to allocate government-owned spectrum to cover increasing demand won’t work forever. In Realizing the Full Potential of Government-Held Spectrum to Spur Economic Growth, PCAST lauds new technologies that allow greater spectrum sharing over fragmentation and exclusivity. The Federal government is still a part of that sharing however. One of the reports recommendations calls for the creation of “the first shared-use spectrum superhighway” and incentives to Federal agencies to share spectrum.

Meanwhile, its Advanced Manufacturing Partnership Steering Committee, co-chaired by Andrew Liveris of Dow Chemical and Susan Hockfield of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, outlined recommendations for spurring investment and positioning the U.S. for long-term leadership in advanced manufacturing. Among other recommendations, Capturing Domestic Competitive Advantage in Advanced Manufacturing backs President Obama’s $1 billion proposal for a National Network for Manufacturing Innovation and 15 innovation institutes throughout the U.S. It also pushes an $8 billion fund to turn community colleges into workforce training and career centers.

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