ASSOCIATION OF AMERICAN UNIVERSITIES STATEMENT ON HOUSE PASSAGE OF AMERICAN INNOVATION AND COMPETITIVENESS ACT
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
CONTACT: Barry Toiv
December 16, 2016
The House of Representatives today gave final approval to the American Innovation and Competitive Act. The Senate passed it last week. Following is
a statement by
Association of American Universities President Mary Sue Coleman on the legislation.
With two outs in the bottom of the ninth inning, Congress has come through and passed the American Innovation and Competitiveness Act. We applaud this
bipartisan action. This was a case in which a legislative process that carefully balanced competing interests and took into account the input provided by
the university community was rewarded with enactment of good legislation.
The bill reaffirms the National Science Foundation’s (NSF) continued use of the merit-based peer review process, the gold standard for evaluating
scientific proposals. It also recognizes the work done by NSF to improve its transparency and accountability process and to communicate to the public why
research grants are in the national interest.
The bill will also lead to establishment of an interagency working group to examine ways to reduce the administrative burden on universities and
researchers. That burden takes time and resources that could be used for conducting research. We believe this could help lead to a more efficient and
effective federal research enterprise.
Finally, the legislation will boost commercialization of university discoveries and also contains a small but important change to NSF’s broader-impacts
criterion for grant approval that will aid AAU’s initiative to improve the quality of undergraduate STEM instruction.
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