The U.S. Senate has begun formal consideration of the U.S. Innovation & Competition Act (S. 1260), previously known as the Endless Frontier Act. This bipartisan legislation, sponsored by Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer, recently passed the Senate Committee on Commerce, Science, and Transportation, and a floor vote is expected by the end of May. The BNP supports the Innovation & Competition Act because of the significant benefits it could bring to our region.
The Innovation & Competition Act would make a substantial investment in research on topics of great priority, including:
- artificial intelligence
- advanced manufacturing
- disaster prevention
- advanced materials
In doing so, Congress would create jobs and educational opportunities, and also improve our national security and competitiveness. The Act reflects a commitment to solidify the United States as the global leader in technology and innovation, thereby decreasing our reliance on foreign nations, strengthening our economy, and creating export opportunities.
Although the Innovation & Competition Act would prove beneficial to the United States as a whole, BNP is especially encouraged by the benefits the bill could bring to our region. Under this bill, the federal government would designate and invest in at least ten regional technology hubs that would “position communities to be global centers for research, development, workforce training, entrepreneurship, and manufacturing.” Should a technology hub be located in Western New York, our region would see an influx of public and private capital and become an attractive landing spot for America’s top talent in STEM fields.
“The [Innovation & Competition Act] represents a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to turbocharge scientific and technological innovation in the United States. Buffalo Niagara’s economy will benefit tremendously in repositioning America as the world’s true technology leader with a critical focus on manufacturing, research and workforce development.”
-Dottie Gallagher, BNP President and CEO
Once the bill passes the Senate, it heads to the House for a vote before moving to President Biden’s desk. The White House has already indicated its support for the bill.
The BNP is grateful for Senator Schumer’s leadership on this issue, and we have urged the rest of our Congressional delegation to follow his lead. Legislation can always be improved, and discussions around spending levels, financing methodology, and allowable expenses are appropriate as Congress debates this legislation.
Still, the Innovation & Competition Act would provide the resources to solidify the United States as the international leader in 21st century innovation and technology. Moreover, this legislation could be transformative for the Buffalo Niagara region if designated as a regional technology hub.
The BNP will continue to update members on the status of the Innovation & Competition Act, and expects to play an active role in helping to secure and develop a regional technology hub in Western New York should the bill pass.