Legislation introduced by members of the House Committee on Science, Space, and Technology would require the White House’s Office of Science and Technology Policy (OSTP) and the National Science and Technology Council (NSTC) to establish a national science and technology strategy.

Committee Chairwoman Eddie Bernice Johnson, D-Texas., Ranking Member Frank Lucas, R-Okla., Rep. Michael Waltz, R-Fla., and Rep. Deborah Ross, D-N.C., introduced the National Science and Technology Strategy Act of 2021 on June 14 in an effort to develop “a whole-of-government planning process for research and development, ensuring better coordination between Federal agencies and a more strategic approach to U.S. research and development goals,” according to a press release.

“To address the pressing challenges of the 21st century and remain a global leader in science and technology, the United States must double down on strategic investments in research and development,” said Chairwoman Johnson. “A coordinated, whole-of-government approach will help ensure these investments have the intended benefits for our economy, national security, and public wellbeing.”

The legislation would direct OSTP and NSTC to create a national science and technology strategy every four years and conduct a quadrennial U.S. science and technology review.

The review would provide data and analysis to policymakers regarding the nation’s innovation landscape, as well as identify future needs or barriers for U.S. science and technology. The review’s analysis and recommendations would aim to: ensure economic and national security; assess global competition in science and technology; identify potential threats to U.S. leadership in science and technology, including research theft and espionage; and provide recommendations to improve the U.S. STEM workforce.

“We regularly review and update our national priorities for defense, homeland security, and energy, and our scientific and technological leadership is no less important,” said Ranking Member Lucas. “American research and development keeps us competitive globally and creates jobs in emerging industries here at home. A national science and technology strategy ensures we’ll stay focused on the most important research challenges, allowing us to make taxpayer dollars go farther as we maintain America’s status as the global leader in innovation.”

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Grace Dille
Grace Dille
Grace Dille is MeriTalk's Assistant Managing Editor covering the intersection of government and technology.