DC Dispatch

DC Dispatch - November 18, 2016

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Speculation on Key Science Appointments

(And legislative actions during the lame duck)

Now that the election is behind us: the scramble is on to see who will get appointed to key positions within the new administration; of particular interest for those in the federal S&T community is who will be leading key science agencies and programs in the coming years. While too early to know with any certainty, AIP has highlighted some science posts to be filled, with some indication of who is leading the transition effort for key science agencies (Note: transition news changes hourly – so this info gets dated quickly). From the blurb, “[O]ver the coming months, President-elect Donald Trump and his transition team will be selecting dozens of personnel for science-related leadership positions in the federal government. These choices and the administration’s broader approach to government could have significant effects on the federal science workforce and science policy.” See the blurb for details. (Original Sources: AIP web site)

…. and …

AIP has also: outlined some thoughts on potential implications for science-related legislation during the lame duck (some of which contains tech transfer-related provisions). In addition to the big item (the budget, see below), they point out pending legislation like the Energy Policy Modernization Act, NASA Transition Authorization Act, America COMPETES reauthorization and others, and try to read the tea leaves on what may happen to each before the current Congressional session ends on December 16 (and legislation must be reintroduced). (Original Sources: AIP web site) 

Status of the Budget CR for FY 2017

Government Executive is reporting: that “lawmakers will work during the lame-duck session to pass another short-term spending measure to keep the government open through March 31, 2017.” From the article, “[H]ouse and Senate leadership have decided not to move ahead with any fiscal 2017 appropriations bills this year, instead opting to push through another continuing resolution at the current rate of funding for agencies. The current CR … expires on Dec. 9. House Appropriations Committee Chairman Hal Rogers, R-Ky., said he was ‘disappointed’ that Congress would not complete its annual funding duties this year, but that he was ‘extremely hopeful’ that the new Congress and incoming Trump administration would finish the bills. … Rogers said his committee would begin work ‘immediately’ on a CR to fund the government through March.” (Original Sources: GovExec web site)

Policy Advice Ramps Up for the New Administration

(Here - on innovation policy)

SSTI has published some proposals: for the new administration regarding an approach to ‘innovation policy’ - as many groups will do over the coming weeks/months in an effort to have their opinions heard on whatever their policy area of concern might be. (NOTE: including them in the Dispatch is NOT an endorsement of any policies put forth by any particular group – just making you aware of what folks are advocating for in areas of interest to our community). From their post, “[P]resident-elect Donald Trump made strong appeals during his campaign to restore economic opportunity for workers, particularly those displaced by changes in the manufacturing and energy sectors. An economy driven by transforming America’s scientific research into good-paying jobs and high-growth businesses would deliver on the promises Trump made to voters. SSTI has a policy agenda to provide entrepreneurs and investors with the support they need to make this transition to an innovation economy. Currently, this policy agenda is available to the Trump transition team through SSTI’s Executive Memorandum for Presidential Candidates.” Although the Memorandum was published prior to the election, SSTI notes that now that the election is over, they are “expanding the Executive Memo to include details on each policy proposal and incorporate feedback received from the full innovation community at SSTI’s 2016 Annual Conference.” (Original Sources: SSTI web site). 

NIST Published FRN on Bayh-Dole NPRM

NIST has now published: a Federal Register Notice on its ‘notice of proposed rulemaking’ for changes to Bayh-Dole. From the FR Notice “[T]he proposed revisions make technical corrections, update certain sections to conform with changes in the patent laws, clarify the role of provisional patent application filing, create a new Determination of Exceptional Circumstances, increase the role of Funding Agencies in the Bayh-Dole process, address subject inventions as to which a Federal laboratory employee is a co-inventor, and streamline the licensing application process for some Federal laboratory collaborators. NIST will hold a public meeting and simultaneous webinar regarding the proposed changes on November 21, 2016.” Written comments are due by December 9, 2016. (Original Sources: FRN web site)

… and …

The Eagle Forum is sponsoring: a policy briefing on Capitol Hill titled “How the Bayh Dole Act Promotes Progress in Science and Useful Arts”. From the event notice, speakers will include Joe Allen (former staffer to Sen. Birch Bayh), Stephen Susalka (Executive Director, AUTM), and Brian P. O'Shaughnessy (President, LES). The event will be held in the U.S. House of Representatives Rayburn Office Building, Monday, November 28, 2016 at 12:00 PM. (Original Sources: Eagle Forum web site) 

Global Competitiveness Report Released

(Not to be confused with Global Innovation Index, Dispatch 9-2-16) 

The World Economic Forum has released: its latest Global Competitiveness Report. From the press release, “[T]he report is an annual assessment of the factors driving productivity and prosperity in 138 countries. … For the eighth consecutive year, Switzerland ranks as the most competitive economy in the world, narrowly ahead of Singapore and the United States. Following them is Netherlands and then Germany. The latter has climbed four places in two years. The next two countries, Sweden (6) and the United Kingdom (7) both advance three places, with the latter’s GCI score being based on pre-Brexit data. The remaining three economies in the top ten; Japan (8), Hong Kong SAR (9) and Finland (10) all move backwards.” You can link to the full report and a more easily ‘accessible’ report reader here. (Original Sources: WEF 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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