A group of CEOs and organizations is urging stronger federal policies and investments
The National Ground Water Assn. (NGWA) joined CEOs and 252 organizations in signing Innovation: An American Imperative, a document aimed at urging stronger federal policies and investment to drive domestic research and development (R&D).
The document underscores the findings and warnings contained in the American Academy of Arts and Sciences report, Restoring the Foundation: The Vital Role of Research in Preserving the American Dream.
According to the academy, “There is a deficit between what America is investing and what it should be investing to remain competitive, not only in research but in innovation and job creation.”
The academy asserts that the U.S. is failing to keep pace with competitor nations with regard to investments in basic research and development. America’s ascendancy in the 20th century was due in large part to its investments in science and engineering research. Basic research is behind every new product brought to market, every new medical device or drug, every new defense and space technology, and many innovative business practices.
“NGWA’s mission is to advance groundwater knowledge. Key to furthering our mission is support of national policies and investment that fuel basic research and development,” said NGWA CEO Kevin McCray, CAE. “Science undergirds everything that groundwater professionals do. As challenges to our groundwater resources grow, so, too, should our nation’s investment in the kind of research and development that will enable us to meet those challenges.”
Other CEOs who have signed on to the effort are:
- Samuel R. Allen, chairman and CEO, John Deere;
- Norman R. Augustine, cochair, Restoring the Foundation;
- Wes Bush, chairman, president and CEO, Northrop Grumman;
- Kenneth C. Frazier, chairman and CEO, Merck and Co. Inc.;
- Marillyn A. Hewson, chairman, president and CEO, Lockheed Martin Corp.;
- Charles O. Holliday, chairman, Royal Dutch Shell plc;
- Joseph Jimenez, CEO, Novartis;
- W. James McNerney Jr., chairman of the board and CEO, The Boeing Co.;
- Satya Nadella, CEO, Microsoft; and
- Jay Timmons, president and CEO, National Association of Manufacturers.
Over the last two decades, a steady decline in investment in research and development in the U.S. has allowed the nation to fall to 10th place in R&D investment among Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development nations as a percentage of gross domestic product. At this pace, China will surpass the United States in R&D intensity in about eight years.
These developments led a coalition of those concerned with the future of research in America to join together in presenting the Innovation Imperative to federal policymakers and urging them to take action to:
- End sequestration’s deep cuts to federal investments in R&D;
- Make permanent a strengthened federal R&D tax credit;
- Improve student achievement in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics;
- Reform U.S. visa policy;
- Streamline or eliminate costly and inefficient regulations;
- Reaffirm merit-based peer review; and
- Stimulate further improvements in advanced manufacturing.