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Making America More Competitive

Approximately 250 leaders of America's research community convened in August at Oak Ridge National Laboratory for the National Science and Technology Summit to suggest ways to strengthen economic competitiveness. Sponsored by the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy, the summit was a requirement of the America COMPETES Act of 2007.

The attendees represented senior research officials of the government, universities, industry and national laboratories. The panels offered recommendations for increasing government's research investments, enhancing the return on these investments and enlarging the pool of American scientists and engineers through improvements in science, technology and math education.

Three members of the Tennessee congressional delegation—Sen. Lamar Alexander, Rep. Bart Gordon and Rep. Zach Wamp—urged the research and education community to encourage elected officials to support sustained investments in science and technology. Alexander said that "the best way to stop sending billions of dollars overseas for oil to countries that don't much like us is to keep our brainpower advantage."

One recommendation that reflected this advice called for stable funding for large research facilities to avoid multiyear project delays and optimize research output. Another recommendation supported making permanent the R&D tax credit for industry.


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