National Science Foundation

Take Boehner Seriously. Please.
September 14, 2010

It's been an almost a week since House Minority Leader John Boehner came forward with his economic plan, such that it is, but I wanted to make one observation about it. Boehner's plan would mean a fairly drastic cut in discretionary spending: According to the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities, Boehner is seeking to reduce it by 22 percent, or more than $100 billion. Of course, Boehner sees this as a virtue: The whole point is to assure voters he wants to reduce "spending." And when you put it that way, in such abstract terms, it sounds pretty appealing to most people.

Less Is Moore
July 02, 2010

The right-wing think-tank Institute for Policy Innovation emails: The Institute for Policy Innovation has joined with 15 other organizations in a letter praising Senator Jim DeMint (R-SC) for his work to protect Americans from capital gains tax hikes that would negatively impact the economy. Click here to read IPI's previous study from 2001 “A Capital Gains Tax Cut: The Key to Economic Recovery” by Steve Moore and Phil Kerpen. Wait.

America (Begins to) COMPETE
June 02, 2010

Notwithstanding the nightmare of the spreading Gulf of Mexico oil spill, there was good news last week as sensible Washington folks headed to the beaches for the long weekend. Late on Friday, the House of Representatives passed an important piece of U.S.

Prizing Innovation
May 05, 2010

Here’s something interesting: The U.S. Department of Commerce’s Office of Innovation and Entrepreneurship and its Economic Development Administration announced something genuinely fresh earlier this week--a competitive challenge grant aimed at calling out the nation’s best ideas for technology commercialization and entrepreneurship. How cool is that?

America COMPETES: Regionalize It
April 21, 2010

Last week I mentioned that the America COMPETES Act is up for reauthorization, and suggested that Congress should innovate a bit as it updates a key vehicle for stimulating innovation in the original innovation nation. Along these lines, I noted that Rob Atkinson has pulled a lot of the right ideas together in a recent brief but added that a few other ideas need inclusion.

America COMPETES: Vehicle for Innovating at Innovation
April 14, 2010

The America COMPETES Act is up for reauthorization, and that's a good thing.

Energy Hubs + Regionalism = A New Vision for Innovation
February 16, 2010

Add energy research to the list of arenas in which Team Obama has recognized the power of regional economies to deliver innovation as well as economic growth. On Friday, the Obama administration announced that no less than seven federal agencies were issuing a combined funding opportunity announcement of up to $130 million over five years to turn one of the Department of Energy’s energy innovation hubs into true a regional innovation center. Centered on the second of DOE’s three energy research hubs, the new Energy Regional Innovation Cluster (E-RIC) initiative is noteworthy because it shows t

Budget 2011: Joined-Up Government
February 12, 2010

Last week we noticed the spread into multiple federal agency budgets of FY 2011 program proposals aimed at supporting regional industry clusters--the geographic concentrations of interconnected firms and supporting organizations that play such an important role in enhancing regional economic performance. Yet that is just one spreading governance "meme" on display in the Obama administration's second budget.

Budget 2011: Driving Innovation Despite the Budget Cap
February 05, 2010

President Obama’s pledge to cap domestic non-defense spending in the FY 2011 budget did not mandate an across-the-board freeze, and nowhere is that fact more welcome than in the area of innovation investments. In lean times the new budget strongly favors basic science and applied research. Because it does, the budget represents an important step toward delivering on Obama’s signal commitment last spring to boost U.S.

Budget 2011: Industry Clusters as a Paradigm for Job Growth
February 02, 2010

From its opening pages, the Obama administration’s FY2011 budget request adopts a stance that pervades this blog. Declares the document: “We need to recognize that competitive, high-performing regional economies are essential to a strong national economy.” (See page 20 of the federal budget.) In line with this recognition, the new budget unveils not one, but several proposals to support regional industry or innovation “clusters” through multiple federal departments. Clusters, as we have noted previously, are a fundamental fact of national economies, and a critical enhancer of regional economi