Senate Science Committee Chairman Introduces New Bill to Advance U.S. Leadership in Advanced Industries

Jan 20, 2020

by ASME.org

Senator Roger Wicker (R-MS), Chairman of the Senate Committee on Commerce, Science, and Transportation, recently introduced a new bill aimed at increasing U.S. leadership in globally competitive industries like artificial intelligence, advanced manufacturing, and synthetic biology. Senators Gary Peters (D-MI), Tammy Baldwin (D-WI), and Cory Gardner (R-CO) joined Senator Wicker as sponsors to S. 3191, the Industries of the Future Act.

The bill would increase the capacity of research and development programs of the Federal Government that focus on specific “industries of the future” called out in the bill: artificial intelligence, quantum information science, biotechnology, and next generation wireless networks and infrastructure, advanced manufacturing, and synthetic biology. In addition to investing in research and development, the bill would also invest in infrastructure that enables technological breakthroughs and establish domestic capabilities necessary to position the United States as a global leader, while also promoting actions necessary to creating and further developing a domestic workforce that will support the industries.

Specifically, the Industries of the Future Act of 2020 would:

  • Require the Administration to develop a report on the research and development programs of the federal government that focus on Industries of the Future.
  • Require a plan for doubling the baseline investments in such industries by 2022 and a plan for increasing civilian spending on Industries of the Future to $10 billion by fiscal year 2025. The bill would also require the Administration to propose legislation to implement such spending plans.
  • Require a Coordination Council that would better focus existing entities and require those entities to focus on advancing Industries of the Future.

The bill would authorize the program at $10 billion per year through 2025. ASME will continue to monitor this legislation.

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