FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Following is a statement by Association of American Universities President Mary Sue Coleman on Senate passage Saturday of the American Innovation and Competitiveness Act.
We thank the Senate for passing the American Innovation and Competitiveness Act (AICA). This bipartisan action followed a process that carefully balanced competing interests reflected in the earlier versions of the House and Senate bills, and took into account the input provided by the university community.
The bill reaffirms the importance of the merit-based peer review process, which is understood worldwide to be the gold standard for reviewing and evaluating scientific proposals. It also recognizes the work done by the National Science Foundation (NSF) to improve its transparency and accountability process and to communicate to the public why research grants are in the national interest.
Finally, we appreciate that the bill calls for establishment of an interagency working group to examine ways to reduce the administrative burden that reduces universities’ and researchers’ time and resources for conducting research. Reducing that burden will make the federal research enterprise more efficient and effective.
While the House did not have time to take up the bill, we hope the bill will be quickly reintroduced and approved in the next Congress.
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Founded in 1900, the Association of American Universities comprises 62 distinguished institutions that continually advance society through education, research and discovery. Our universities earn the majority of competitively awarded federal funding for academic research, are improving human life and wellbeing through research and are educating tomorrow’s visionary leaders and global citizens. AAU members collectively help shape policy for higher education, science and innovation; promote best practices in undergraduate and graduate education; and strengthen the contributions of research universities to society.