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ASME's 2011-2012 Public Policy Agenda
Learn more about ASME's top six federal public policy priority issues: Energy; Innovation & Competitiveness; STEM Education; Research & Development; Environment; and Standards.
Learn More About This Year's Public Policies
ASME joined with the presidents of 21 Engineering Societies to issue a Proclamation calling on the Administration and Congress to act quickly on establishing National Energy Policy Goals that will enable the U.S. to achieve a secure and sustainable supply of energy.
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Innovation and Competitiveness
The capacity of the United States to innovate — to create new products and processes — will play a dominant and decisive role in the nation's ability to achieve global economic competitiveness. Innovation results from the transformation of scientific knowledge, through engineering research and technology development, into products and processes benefiting the marketplace. Technical standards ensuring product safety and quality play a major role in technology development.
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Workforce Development and STEM Education
Strong K-12 science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) education is not just for those students wishing to pursue technical degrees in higher education. Debate about health care, energy policy, and telecommunications, to name a few, all center on technology and the public's use and understanding of technology. In a world in which so many issues of public debate are based on technology, all citizens should be technologically literate, and able to participate and function fully in society.
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Federal Funding of Research and Development Issues
Investments in engineering research and development, including basic research, are essential to advancing innovation and for producing an engineering workforce that will be prepared to meet the challenges of the 21st century. In addition, federal research helps educate and train the next generation of scientists and engineers, which is critical to meeting the growing demand for skilled workers in the new economy.
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Engineers have a long-standing professional interest in research and technology to protect the environment and human health. Mechanical engineers have a breadth of subspecialties, from combustion and mechanics to machine and process design; and they form a significant proportion of the technical workforce tackling current problemsranging from emissions reduction to water quality. A strong R&D program is essential for the ongoing development of science-based decision making.
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The National Technology Transfer Advancement Act (NTTAA), requires the government, to the greatest extent practicable, to use privately developed voluntary consensus standards rather than developing their own standards. While this law has been a benefit to Standards Development Organizations (SDOs) and the government, it also exposes SDOs to greater liability especially when the need for standards in high risk areas increases. ASME will continue to seek protection from such liability.
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