American Competitiveness Initiative

August 9, 2007 - Competitiveness Legislation Signed By President
On August 9, the President signed into law the American COMPETES Act, H.R. 2272. Highlights of the law include:
  • Doubling funding for the National Science Foundation (NSF), the National Institutes of Standards and Technology (NIST), and the Department of Energy's Office of Science (DOE-Science);
  • Investing in thousands of new teachers NSF's Noyce Teacher Scholarship Program and Math and Science Partnerships;
  • Creating the Technology Innovation Program (TIP) at NIST to better reflect global innovation competition by funding high-risk, high-reward, pre-competitive technology development;
  • Doubling funding for the Manufacturing Extension Partnership (MEP) in 10 years;
  • Expanding grants for outstanding researchers in the early stages of their careers by establishing a Presidential innovation award; and
  • Establishing an Advanced Research Projects Agency for Energy (ARPA-E), a new DARPA-like initiative for energy research.

Further information on H.R. 2272 is available on the House Science and Technology Committee website at

May 2, 2007 – Competitiveness Initiative Update
On April 25, US Senate passed the America COMPETES Act (S. 761) and the legislation was sent to the US House of Representatives (House). The House passed the first two bills in the Democrat’s Innovation Agenda, the “10,000 Teachers, 10 Million Minds” Math and Science Scholarship Act (H.R. 362); and the “Sowing the Seeds” Through Science and Engineering Research Act (H.R. 363), on April 24.
The third bill in the House related to Competitiveness is the Advanced Research Projects-Energy (ARPA-E) Act (H.R. 364), on which the House Science and Technology Committee held a hearing April 26. The House will vote on the National Science Foundation (NSF) Reauthorization bill (H.R. 1867) this week. The House is holding S. 761 until H.R. 364 passes, as well as the NSF reauthorization, then the House and Senate will conference these five bills (S. 761, and H.R. 362, 363, 364, and 1867).
Legislation Background - (Click on the Bill Number to be taken to the legislation text)
America COMPETES (Creating Opportunities to Meaningfully Promote Excellence in Technology, Education, and Science) Act (S. 761) - Summary
National Science Foundation Reauthorization (H.R. 1867) - Summary
“10,000 Teachers, 10 Million Minds” Math and Science Scholarship Act (H.R. 362) - Summary
“Sowing the Seeds” Through Science and Engineering Research Act (H.R. 363) - Summary
Advanced Research Projects-Energy (ARPA-E) Act (H.R. 364) - Summary 
February 28, 2006ASM Endorses Letter to Representative Gordon
On February 28, ASM endorsed a letter to Representative Bart Gordon regarding his American Competitiveness legislation.

In October 2005, The National Academies (NAS) released a report titled “Rising Above the Gathering Storm: Energizing and Employing America for a Brighter Economic Future.”  The release of this report has served as a catalyst for the introduction of several pieces of legislation that address the issue of U.S. competitiveness and innovation. Additionally, the Council on Competitiveness held a National Innovation Summit on December 15 (information on the meeting: and released a report titled “Innovate America.” 

Legislation on Innovation

House of Representatives

Representative Gordon (D-TN) introduced three bills:

  • 10,000 Teachers, 10 million Minds Science and Math Scholarship Act (H.R. 4434) – Introduced December 6, 2005
    • Summary: The bill calls for recruiting 10,000 math and science teachers annually by providing scholarships to science, math and engineering students who commit to becoming teachers upon completion of their degrees. It also authorizes summer teacher training institutes for current teachers to improve their content knowledge and teaching skills, establishes a master’s degree program for in-service science and math teachers, and establishes training programs for preparing science and math teachers to teach Advanced Placement and International Baccalaureate courses in science and math.
    • Legislation
  • Sowing the Seeds Through Science and Engineering Research Act (H.R. 4596) – Introduced December 16, 2005
    • Summary: Authorizes a 10 percent increase per year in funding for basic research in the physical sciences, mathematical sciences and engineering at the principal agencies supporting such research (NSF, DOE, NASA, NIST, DOD).
    • Legislation
  • Advanced Research Projects-Energy (ARPA-E) (H.R. 4435) – Introduced December 6, 2005
    • Summary: Establish ARPA-E at DOE, similar to the DARPA program at DOD, to fund high-risk high-return research.
    • Legislation


Senators Ensign (R-NV) and Lieberman (D-CT) introduced:

Senators Alexander (R-TN), Domenici (R-NM), Bingaman (D-NM), and Mikulski (D-MD) introduced a package of three pieces of legislation titled:

  • Protecting America’s Competitive Edge (PACE) Act (S.) (package of three bills) – Announced January 25, 2006

The sponsors of each of the Senate bills are working together and have co-sponsored each other’s bills.