One of the reasons why we can hear the cicadas instead of Members of Congress is because they gave up trying to agree on an important new bill: the United States Innovation and Competition Act (the USICA). It should be one of those things that any American from any political party can agree on — we need to have a plan to compete with geopolitical and economic force that is China. So many Senate committees hashed out bipartisan agreements to form the proposed legislation — a 1,400-page how-to-compete-with-China-and-win manual — which includes major investments in American innovation, combining numerous technology, cybersecurity, and economic proposals. The interesting part for health tech is the “Endless Frontier Act” (absorbed by this bigger package) which would create a new branch of the National Science Foundation (NSF) called the Directorate for Technology and Innovation (DTI). Unfortunately, according to an analysis from Niskanen Center, this portion of the bill was eliminated. As opposed to DTI being a well-funded, internally independent research organization, its primary function would be choosing grant recipients with significant oversight from NSF and only a small fund devoted to research. Hard to know what will and will not stick given the barrage of amendments filed by both sides of the aisle, but we hope that a final legislative package will allow the private sector to work with institutions of higher learning and develop a workforce pipeline so American technology innovation is leading the world, not following.
June 4, 2021 | 2 min read
June 4, 2021
Only What Matters in Health Information Policy
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