DC Dispatch - February 28, 2017

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FY 2018 Budget On The Way

The Trump Administration has signaled: its budgetary intent for FY 2018 (with release of top line priorities on Feb 27).  The specific details are to be worked out later, when a ‘blueprint for the budget’ is released in March and the full budget released sometime after that (and during the appropriations process in Congress).  While there is little information on R&D specifically, the overarching message is that the total budget will increase defense spending with commensurate decreases in non-defense, discretionary spending (of which R&D is a part) across the board (i.e., all agencies will have to ‘contribute’ to the decrease).  From an article in Washington Post, “[P]resident Trump will propose a federal budget that would significantly increase defense-related spending by $54 billion while cutting other federal agencies by the same amount, an administration official said.  … According to the White House, the defense budget would increase by 10 percent. Trump also will request $30 billion in supplementary military spending for fiscal 2017, an administration official said.  But without providing specifics, the administration said that most other discretionary spending programs would be cut to pay for it.”  See related article in GovExec here. (Original Sources: WashPost online, GovExec online)

Republican High-Tech Task Force Sets Agenda

Sen. Hatch (R-UT), Chair of the Senate Republican High-Tech Task Force, announced: his “innovation agenda for the 115th Congress during a special event [recently] at the United States Capitol.”  From his press release, he highlights, via a recent speech, key areas of interest for the coming term, including a focus on HI-B visa issues, copyright laws, data stewardship and the internet; all of which and more are concisely highlighted on a 2-pager outline of the agenda.  See a related article in Morning Consult

here.  (Original Sources: Senator Hatch’s web site, Morning Consult newsletter)

Science Approps Committees Leadership Announced

Both the House and Senate have named: who will “lead the influential appropriations committees and their 12 subcommittees, which together are responsible for drafting legislation that divides up over $1 trillion in discretionary federal spending every year.”  From a blurb in AIP, “[L]eaders of the appropriations subcommittees have considerable influence over the budgets of the departments and agencies under their jurisdiction.  Four of these subcommittees together oversee the vast majority of federal R&D spending: the Energy and Water Development (Energy-Water); Commerce, Justice, Science (CJS); Labor, Health and Human Services, Education (Labor-HHS); and Defense Subcommittees.”  See the link for more details.  (Original Sources: AIP web site)

More (Science) Advice for the New Administration 

Several science-related organizations has now provided: some unsolicited advice on policy priorities they would like to see supported by the new administration.  In a recent compilation of some of those recommendations, AIP notes “[T]hrough statements and letters addressed to President Trump, scientific organizations and D.C.-based science advocacy coalitions have been communicating their policy priorities and recommendations to the new administration.  Chief among the recommendations are that Trump appoint a science advisor and that his administration request robust and sustained funding of federal science agencies and STEM education programs.”  See the link for specifics on what each of the represented organizations is promoting.  (Original Sources: AIP web site)

Fun Facts: Talent Competitive Countries

INSEAD has released its latest: Global Talent Competitiveness Index, an “annual benchmarking report that measures the ability of countries to compete for talent.”  From the report “[T]he report ranks 118 countries according to their ability to grow, attract and retain talent.  Much more than an international league table of talent, the GTCI report provides a tool-kit for governments, businesses and non-profit organizations throughout the world.  Its wealth of data, analysis and national scoreboards is intended to help countries overcome talent mismatches and be competitive in the global marketplace. … The 2017 GTCI study focuses on how technology is affecting talent competitiveness and the nature of work, exploring both significant challenges and opportunities, and important shifts away from traditional working approaches.”  From the press release we see that the index “puts Switzerland on top, followed by Singapore and the United Kingdom. While Switzerland excels at offering an ideal economic environment and retaining domestically-developed talent, Singapore leads the way in attracting and enabling its global talent pool.”  The United States is next (4th).  (Original Sources: INSEAD web site)

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Note:  The DC Dispatch is a periodic update of selected items of interest to the FLC and technology transfer community -- i.e., current legislation, trends, reports, policy and other developments potentially affecting technology transfer or related activities -- designed to keep the community informed of relevant issues on a timely basis.  Information is gleaned directly from a variety of sources (newsletters, email alerts, web sites, direct participation at events from the FLC DC Representative’s office, etc.) -- with original sources, contacts and links provided.

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