Following months of tireless advocacy for federal aid and support for hard-hit New York State amidst the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, U.S. Senate Minority Leader Charles E. Schumer today introduced the Endless Frontier Act, a bipartisan, bicameral initiative that looks to the future beyond the crisis and seeks to solidify U.S. leadership in scientific and technological innovation through increased investments in the discovery, creation, and commercialization of critical technology fields. The bipartisan legislation further targets support to ensure new research investments translate into new American and New York companies, manufacturing and high-tech jobs, and opportunities for Upstate New York to attract emerging technology industries.
Schumer explained that the Endless Frontier Act is a necessary investment into research, education and training, technology transfer and entrepreneurship, manufacturing, and the broader U.S. innovation ecosystem across the nation. The Senator said that the COVID-19 pandemic caught the U.S. inadequately prepared and exposed the consequences of long-term failure to sufficiently invest in scientific research.
“The coronavirus pandemic has shown the science and technology gap between the United States and the rest of the world is closing fast and that threatens our long-term health, economic competitiveness, and national security,” said Senator Schumer. “As an established and expanding national technological hub, New York will greatly benefit from federal support and secure its place as a leader of advanced scientific and technological research on the world stage. This bill treats scientific research as a national security priority, will fund critical research and development, and invest in New York’s tremendous potential to lead industries of the future, creating new jobs, business growth, and community revitalization across the state.”
Schumer added, “As the Endless Frontier Act proposes billions of dollars to ensure American leadership in the industries of the future, there is no better place to reap the benefits of that investment than the Mohawk Valley. From Cree’s high-tech semiconductor factory in Marcy to AFRL’s quantum computing ‘Open Innovation Center’ and the Griffiss UAS Test Site’s “Skydome”, the Mohawk Valley is already playing a critical role in the race to develop key technologies and this legislation can only fuel that growth.”
Furthermore, Schumer said, the bill will help ensure U.S. leadership in the known technology fields of the future. Foreign competitors, some of whom are stealing American intellectual property, are already aggressively investing in fundamental research and commercialization and edging the U.S. out. Specifically for New York, Schumer says, the Endless Frontier Act will help revitalize local economies ravaged by the COVID-19 crisis.
Schumer explained that the Endless Frontier Act proposes an expansion of the National Science Foundation (NSF)—to be renamed the National Science and Technology Foundation (NTSF)—and the establishment of a Technology Directorate within NTSF to advance technology in 10 critical focus areas.
According to the Senator, the newly-established Technology Directorate would receive $100 billion over five years to lead investment and research in artificial intelligence and machine learning; high performance computing; robotics, automation, and advanced manufacturing; quantum computing; cybersecurity; biotechnology; semiconductors; and more. An additional $10 billion would be authorized to designate at least 10 regional technology hubs, awarding funds for comprehensive investment initiatives that position regions across the country to be global centers for the research, development, and manufacturing of key technologies.
Several major New York-based technological innovators have already expressed strong support for the Endless Frontier Act. Association of Independent Technological Universities, Binghamton University, Buffalo Niagara Medical Campus, Center for Economic Growth (CEG), CenterState CEO, Clarkson University, Cornell University, Corning Incorporated, GlobalFoundries, Greater Rochester Enterprise, Hudson Valley Economic Development Corporation, IBM, Launch NY, Marist College, M&T Bank, New York University, Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, Rochester Institute of Technology, Stony Brook University, SUNY New Paltz, SUNY Polytechnic Institute, Syracuse University, University of Buffalo, University of Rochester have all approved of the goals and methodology outlined in the proposed legislation.
“The bipartisan Endless Frontier Act advances critical innovations through a significant increase in investment in fundamental research, education, technology commercialization and entrepreneurship, and our nation’s dynamic innovation ecosystem,” said SUNY Polytechnic Institute Interim President Dr. Grace Wang. “This “moon shot” approach will bolster America’s leadership in areas ranging from artificial intelligence, machine learning and cybersecurity to quantum, semiconductors and materials science, and its simultaneous focus on catalyzing exciting high-tech educational and career opportunities can pay dividends for generations.”