ASME Sees Innovation and Competitiveness Law as Pathway to Economic Prosperity

Aug. 30, 2007
Mechanical Engineering Society Sees America Competes Act as Way to Fund New Generation of Engineers
NEW YORK—The American Society of Mechanical Engineers applauded the House and Senate for passing the America Creating Opportunities to Meaningfully Promote Excellence in Technology, Education and Science Act, which President George W. Bush has signed into law. This legislation will provide the foundation for new scientific discovery, high-growth jobs, and future leadership and prosperity in the United States.“This legislation shares many of the goals of my American Competitiveness Initiative (ACI),” says Bush. “ACI is one of my most important domestic priorities because it provides a comprehensive strategy to help keep America the most innovative Nation in the world by strengthening our scientific education and research, improving our technological enterprise, and providing 21st century job training.”The Act (H.R. 2272), also known as America COMPETES, aims to strengthen U.S. innovation and competitiveness through investments in technology development and education.America COMPETES will keep research programs at the National Science Foundation, National Institute of Standards and Technology and Department of Energy Office of Science on a near-term doubling path. The bill also authorizes $33.6 billion over the fiscal years 2008 through 2010 for research and education programs across the federal government. Many of the provisions in the legislation are based upon the recommendations in the 2005 National Academies report, Rising above the Gathering Storm.“Funding increases are a vital investment in the future prosperity and security of our nation, and your support for fundamental research at the National Science Foundation, Department of Energy Office of Science, and National Institute of Standards and Technology, as well as math and science education programs, puts us on the right path,” says ASME President Sam Y. Zamrik in a letter to Congressional leaders.The next phase in the landmark legislation, according to ASME, is to follow through on appropriate levels of spending for the initiatives and programs, particularly in the areas of energy, technical standards, fundamental research, and K-12 science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) education.