The America Creating Opportunities to Meaningfully Promote Excellence in Technology, Education, and Science Act (COMPETES)

bridges vol. 15, September 2007 / Bills in Brief: S&T Policy News

In October 2005, the National Academies published the report "Rising above the Gathering Storm: Energizing and Employing America for a Brighter Economic Future," which listed 20 of the most urgently needed changes in federal support for research and education. Congress implemented most of the suggested measures via the America COMPETES (Creating Opportunities to Meaningfully Promote Excellence in Technology, Education, and Science) Act that authorizes $43.3 billion in federal spending in FY 2008, 2009, and 2010 for science, engineering, mathematics, and technology research, and for education programs.

In August 2007, the COMPETES Act made it through the House with a vote of 367-57 and was passed unanimously by the Senate on the same day. The COMPETES bill is the culmination of a year-and-a-half bipartisan effort led by members of the House Science and Technology Committee, which melded the America COMPETES Act from Senate (S 761) and the 21st Century Competitiveness Act from House (HR 2272). On August 9, 2007, President George Bush signed the COMPETES Act into law.



{access view=guest}Access to the full article is free, but requires you to register. Registration is simple and quick – all we need is your name and a valid e-mail address. We appreciate your interest in bridges.{/access} {access view=!guest} The act is an authorization bill that describes broad guidelines to achieve the goals and only encourages a desired spending level.

In brief, the bill authorizes (but note, does not appropriate funding for) the following:

  • Doubling of the National Science Foundation budget
  • Doubling of the Department of Energy's Office of Science budget
  • Doubling of the National Institutes of Standards and Technology laboratory budget
  • Significant expansion of NSF (National Science Foundation) funding for Scholarship Programs, and its Math and Science Partnerships
  • Creation of a Technology Innovation Program at the Department of Commerce that will replace the Advanced Technology Program
  • Doubling of funding for the Department of Commerce Manufacturing Extension Partnership
  • Increased funding for young researchers
  • Establishment of the Advanced Research Projects Agency for Energy at the Department of Energy.

The following timeline highlights the developments of the America COMPETES Act:

  • April 25, 2007: The Senate passed America COMPETES (Creating Opportunities to Meaningfully Promote Excellence in Technology, Education, and Science) Act (S 761 ). Source: Sci&Tech Committee Press Newsletter 07/31/07
  • May 21, 2007: The House passed the 21st Century Competitiveness Act of 2007 (HR 2272 ): House legislative package authorized a total of $23.6 billion over fiscal years 2008-2010, including $21 billion for research and education programs at the National Science Foundation (NSF), $2.5 billion for the research labs, the Manufacturing Extension Partnership, and other activities at the National Institutes of Standards and Technology (NIST), and $96 million for early career awards and teacher professional development programs at the Department of Energy (DOE). An additional $70 million is authorized for these programs at DOE for fiscal years 2011-2012. Source: Sci&Tech Committee Press Newsletter 07/31/07
  • July 31, 2007: Conference on H.R. 2272 COMPETES Act (America Creating Opportunities to Meaningfully Promote Excellence in Technology, Education and Science Act). An agreement was reached and melded the America COMPETES Act from Senate (S 761) and the 21st Century Competitiveness Act from House (HR 2272). Source: Sci&Tech Committee Press Newsletter 07/31/07
  • August 2, 2007: H.R. 2272, The America Creating Opportunities to Meaningfully Promote Excellence in Technology, Education and Science Act (COMPETES) was passed in the House by a wide margin, and in the Senate by unanimous consent. The bill authorizes $43.3 billion in federal spending in FY 2008, 2009, and 2010 in science, engineering, mathematics, and technology research, and in education programs. Source: American Institute of Physics Bulletin of Science Policy News; Number 84: August 3, 2007, http://www.aip.org/fyi/2007/084.html


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