State of the Union 2011: Will President Obama commit to R&D, for jobs and economic growth?

Research!America’s chair, former Congressman John E. Porter (R-IL), and Research!America’s CEO, Mary Woolley, issued the following statement in anticipation of President Barack Obama’s State of the Union address.

Porter said, “I think the president understands that science, technology, innovation and research are where we lead the world and where we must make the ongoing investments to maintain that leadership. But he must, both in his State of the Union speech next Tuesday night and in the Budget he submits to Congress, make the case to both the American people and the Congress that it is here where American jobs — quality jobs — are created with such investments and here where much of our economic growth resides and will reside. Those investments must include science, technology, engineering and mathematics education, where recent studies show that the United States is lagging behind much of the developed world.”

In his first two years in office, President Obama repeatedly showed his commitment to science as a priority. He supported the inclusion of $10.3 billion in NIH funding in the stimulus bill, lifted restrictions that for eight years slowed research to explore the potential of embryonic stem cells, and more recently oversaw the temporary extension of the R&D tax credit for businesses.

“Accomplishing real change in improving our health and our economy means reclaiming American values of innovation, determination and investment in the future,” Woolley said. “In a recent Research!America poll, 87% of Americans said it is important for the U.S. to achieve the goal adopted by other countries of spending 3% of GDP on research and development. We call on the president to fulfill his 2009 pledge to devote 3% or more of our national GDP to R&D, to give our economy the investment that it needs.”

Research!America is the nation’s largest nonprofit public education and advocacy alliance working to make research to improve health a higher national priority. Founded in 1989, Research!America is supported by member organizations that represent the voices of 125 million Americans.

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