November 12, 2014

Dear Member of Congress:

The 133 undersigned national business, higher education, scientific, patient, and other organizations write to strongly urge you to pass an omnibus FY2015 appropriations bill this year that includes increased investments in scientific research and higher education needed to help close our nation's innovation deficit.

Members of the Senate and House from both political parties have highlighted the need to address the innovation deficit. Congress has already taken some preliminary steps in this direction. In most instances, individual appropriations bills considered by the House and Senate Appropriations Committees would provide for increased investments in scientific research at the National Institutes of Health, the National Science Foundation, NASA, the Department of Energy's Office of Science, the Department of Defense's science and technology programs, and other federal research agencies. However, none of this matters if Congress makes FY2015 appropriations through a continuing resolution.

As many of us noted in our testimony to the Senate Appropriations Committee earlier this year, the innovation deficit is the widening gap between the actual level of federal government funding for research and higher education and what the investment needs to be if the United States is to remain the world's innovation leader. As the global innovation leader, we produce more discoveries and patents, and more technological and health advances, than any other nation. Economists have made very clear that these science-and engineering-driven advances have fueled most of our nation's economic growth in the decades since World War II. Yet today, our leadership faces a serious challenge from other nations that are rapidly increasing their investments in these critical areas while our own spending lags.

The fact that other nations are building up their research and innovation capabilities is not a bad thing. The world benefits from stronger research and education in other countries as well as our own. What should concern us is that those other nations are doing this while the United States is essentially standing still. This poses a serious challenge to our position as the world's innovation leader, and the economic and national security benefits that flow from it. Global leadership is a race, and we will lose by standing still. Bill Green, former CEO of Accenture, perhaps said it best in 2012: "All these other countries--India, China, Russia, you name it--they aspire to be like us because they realize how we got where we got. It's because of the national research infrastructure and ecosystem we have. They aspire to that and they're going to have that. But we've got to be gone when they get there." As modern Americans, we are accustomed to the economic, health, and national security benefits that emanate from our position as the global innovation leader - and we want our children, and their children, to enjoy them as well. If we lose our global leadership, we will lose the valuable collateral that comes with it, and those losses will occur quickly.

Our nation cannot compete effectively or close its innovation deficit by funding science and higher education through continuing resolutions. Past continuing resolutions have disrupted the scientific grants process, suspended and impaired ongoing research projects, and caused uncertainty to our nation's scientific and innovation enterprise. Other nations are enacting long-term strategic plans and making the necessary investments to out-compete the United States. Meanwhile, our nation is losing ground by insufficiently investing in scientific research and education and shackling itself with visionless continuing resolutions.

Your leadership is needed to make scientific research and higher education a priority in final FY15 omnibus appropriations legislation, and to take real steps this year toward closing the innovation deficit.


Academic Pediatric Association
Academy of Radiology Research
Aerospace Industries Association
Alliance for Academic Internal Medicine
Alzheimer's Association
American Academy of Neurology
American Anthropological Association
American Association for Dental Research
American Association for the Advancement of Science
American Association for the Study of Liver Diseases
American Association for Thoracic Surgery
American Association of Anatomists
American Association of Colleges of Pharmacy
American Astronomical Society
American Brain Coalition
American Cancer Society Cancer Action Network
American Chemical Society
American College of Gastroenterology
American Council on Education
American Educational Research Association
American Gastroenterological Association
American Heart Association
American Institute for Medical and Biological Engineering
American Institute of Biological Sciences
American Mathematical Society
American Pancreatic Association
American Pediatric Society
American Physical Society
American Physiological Society
American Political Science Association
American Sociological Association
American Society for Bioethics and Humanities
American Society for Clinical Pharmacology & Therapeutics
American Society for Engineering Education
American Society for Microbiology
American Society for Pharmacology & Experimental Therapeutics
American Society of Agronomy
American Society of Gastrointestinal Endoscopy
American Society of Hematology
American Society of Mechanical Engineers
American Society of Plant Biologists
American Statistical Association
American Surgical Association
Asbestos Disease Awareness Organization
Association for Academic Surgery
Association for Surgical Education
Association for Women in Mathematics
Association of Academic Physiatrists
Association of American Geographers
Association of American Medical Colleges
Association of American Universities
Association of American Veterinary Medical Colleges
Association of Independent Research Institutes
Association of Medical School Pediatric Department Chairs
Association of Population Centers
Association of Public and Land-grant Universities
Association of Research Libraries
Association of Universities for Research in Astronomy
Bay Area Council
Biophysical Society
Brain Injury Association of America
Business-Higher Education Forum
Coalition for Imaging and Bioengineering Research
Coalition for the Life Sciences
Coalition for National Science Funding
Coalition for National Security Research
Computing Research Association
Consortium for Ocean Leadership
Consortium of Social Science Associations
Cooley's Anemia Foundation
Council of Graduate Schools
Council on Competitiveness
Council on Undergraduate Research
Crop Science Society of America
Deadliest Cancers Coalition
Debbie's Dream Foundation: Curing Stomach Cancer
Digestive Disease National Coalition
Ecological Society of America
Energy Sciences Coalition
Entomological Society of America
Esophageal Cancer Action Network
Everylife Foundation for Rare Diseases
Federation of American Societies for Experimental Biology
Federation of Associations in Behavioral & Brain Sciences
Hepatitis B Foundation
Hepatitis Foundation International
Human Factors and Ergonomics Society
Industrial Research Institute
Infectious Diseases Society of America
Lung Cancer Alliance
Lupus Research Institute
Materials Research Society
Mathematical Association of America
Mesothelioma Applied Research Foundation
National Alliance for Eye and Vision Research
National Association of Marine Laboratories
National Brain Tumor Society
National Certification Council for Activity Professionals
National Ground Water Association
National Ovarian Cancer Coalition
National Pancreas Foundation
Natural Science Collections Alliance
Older Women's League
Ovarian Cancer National Alliance
Pancreatic Cancer Action Network
Pink Concussions, Inc.
Population Association of America
Semiconductor Industry Association
Semiconductor Research Corporation
Silicon Valley Leadership Group
Society for Academic Emergency Medicine
Society for Industrial and Applied Mathematics
Society for Industrial and Organizational Psychology
Society for Neuroscience
Society for Pediatric Research
Society of General Internal Medicine
Society of Surgical Chairs
Society of University Urologists
Society of Urology Chairpersons and Program Directors
Soil Science Society of America
Southeastern Universities Research Association
Stand With Science
Task Force on American Innovation
The Geological Society of America
The Association for Research in Vision and Ophthalmology
The Endocrine Society
The Optical Society
The Science Coalition
Tuberous Sclerosis Alliance
United for Medical Research
University Corporation for Atmospheric Research

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