ASME Hails Passage of the Reauthorization of America COMPETES Act

WASHINGTON, D.C., Dec. 29, 2010 – The American Society of Mechanical Engineers (ASME) applauds the U.S. Congress for reauthorizing the America COMPETES (Creating Opportunities to Meaningfully Promote Excellence in Technology, Education and Science) Act, a blueprint for investing in basic research, innovation and math and science education.

First authorized in 2007, the America COMPETES Act authorized a gradual doubling of funding for research and education at the National Science Foundation (NSF), the Department of Energy (DOE) Office of Science, and the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) between fiscal years (FY) 2007 and 2017.  These agencies were singled out because of their importance to science and engineering education and research and to the nation's global economic competitiveness.

In a letter to congressional leaders, ASME President Robert T. Simmons, P.E., noted, “The reauthorization of the America COMPETES Act sends a clear signal from Congress to the American people that they recognize the challenges our nation faces in order to remain a global economic and technological leader.” Simmons called on leadership in both the White House and on Capitol Hill to honor this important legislation in order to effectively address new global challenges in areas such as energy, eroding manufacturing, and the training of future scientists and engineers in America.

The bill is a legislative response to “Rising Above the Gathering Storm,” a series of reports from the U.S. National Academy of Sciences.  The reports revealed troubling trends indicating a decline in key measures of U.S. competitiveness, including exports of high-tech products, the educational standing of our students in math and science, and declining federal investments in science and engineering research and education.   ASME has long been a strong supporter of the America COMPETES Act and related legislation.

About ASME
ASME helps the global engineering community develop solutions to real world challenges. Founded in 1880 as the American Society of Mechanical Engineers, ASME is a not-for-profit professional organization that enables collaboration, knowledge sharing and skill development across all engineering disciplines, while promoting the vital role of the engineer in society. ASME codes and standards, publications, conferences, continuing education and professional development programs provide a foundation for advancing technical knowledge and a safer world.