Improving the America COMPETES Act

April 22, 2013

WASHINGTON (April 22, 2013) - The America COMPETES Act was originally enacted in 2007 with the goal of enhancing the science, technology and innovation enterprise that underpins U.S. economic growth. While the Act has been successful in improving federal innovation policy, more can be done to improve the implementation, coordination and overall success of science and technology policy and further its impact on the economy.

A new report by the Information Technology and Innovation Foundation (ITIF) argues that with the Act now up for reauthorization Congress has an opportunity to adopt new and creative approaches to spurring U.S. innovation-based competitiveness. 25 Recommendations for the 2013 America COMPETES Act Reauthorization offers a series of policy reforms designed to transform the U.S. innovation system and better translate science and technology development into economic development.

"We need more innovation in innovation policy," notes Rob Atkinson, President of ITIF and co-author of the report. "It is not enough to simply increase funding for existing initiatives, as important as doing that is. It's also necessary to spur institutional innovation in the entire system to ensure that new innovations are developed, commercialized and deployed as effectively and as quickly as possible."

The report breaks its recommendations into three categories: improving innovation and technology commercialization; implementing federal institutional reforms to spur innovation; and enhancing science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) education. Individual proposals include: the creation of a Spurring Commercialization of Our Nation's Research (SCNR) program to improve the commercialization of university, state, and federal laboratory research; the development of a National Engineering and Innovation Foundation alongside NSF; and the creation of a joint industry-government STEM fellowship program. View a full list of the recommendations.

The authors argue that by revamping the U.S. innovation infrastructure and spurring additional investment in science and technology we can create the new products, processes and industries that will drive economic development, job growth, and enhanced quality of life.

"The reality is that if the United States wants a globally competitive economy going forward, the government must play a more active role in spurring R&D, innovation and technology transfer," adds co-author Stephen Ezell, a senior analyst with ITIF. "These recommendations will assist in creating the necessary innovation ecosystem and allow the United States to remain globally competitive and economically healthy."


To read the report visit:


The Information Technology and Innovation Foundation (ITIF) is a Washington, D.C.-based think tank at the cutting edge of designing innovation strategies and technology policies to create economic opportunities and improve quality of life in the United States and around the world. Founded in 2006, ITIF is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit, non-partisan organization that documents the beneficial role technology plays in our lives and provides fact-based analysis and pragmatic ideas for improving technology-driven productivity, boosting competitiveness, and meeting today's global challenges through innovation. For additional information, visit ITIF at