ACS requests House Leadership include scientific community priorities in USICA Companion Bill
January 25, 2022
The Honorable Nancy Pelosi
United States House of Representatives
H-232, United States Capitol
Washington, DC 20515
As you work to shape a House companion bill to the United States Innovation and Competition Act (USICA), the American Chemical Society (ACS) urges you to consider the bipartisan and Science & Technology community supported initiatives outlined in the “For the Future” acts passed in 2021.
The ACS-endorsed National Science Foundation (NSF) for the Future Act is a forward-thinking vision for ensuring America’s global competitiveness in the 21st century. The creation of the Directorate for Science and Engineering Solutions recognizes the need to catalyze NSF’s existing science into translational research to address existing gaps in America’s innovation infrastructure. NSF For the Future acknowledges the critical need to broaden access to research opportunities, particularly in underserved and rural communities. Prioritizing safe, secure, and equitable research environments will help to enable a diverse and inclusive workforce to meet the demands of emerging technologies and innovation leadership on a global scale. Additionally, the legislation builds on the Sustainable Chemistry Research and Development Act by reauthorizing a sustainable chemistry program, which is in an important component ensuring future generations can access the life changing, positive contributions of chemistry while eliminating the harmful human and environmental impacts.
The Department of Energy (DOE) for the Future Act, also endorsed by the ACS, would create a long-term vision of the Office of Science to robustly meet the challenges of the 21st century. Sustained, predictable funding is key to scientists and engineers making long-term research plans. ACS endorsed language supporting inclusion of sustainable chemistry, which will help fully account for the lifecycle impact of newly developed chemistries, and authorization of a helium conservation program, which will help conserve irreplaceable helium, essential to a wide range of foundational research.
The “For the Future Acts” take a comprehensive approach to creating a diverse, inclusive, sustainable, and innovative engine for the United States. Increasing the participation of underrepresented groups in STEM fields is vital to meet economic and scientific challenges of the next several decades. If we are to see sustained, achievable growth in federal innovation, it is imperative there is bipartisan buy-in and stakeholder support from the science and technology community, represented in the “For the Future Acts”. We are encouraged by your focus on these critical policies and hope that you include the bipartisan and collaborative initiatives as you structure this transformative legislation.