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August 10th, 2007

How to innovate into the future

The bill, backed by huge bipartisan majorities in Congress, provides $17 billion for the Energy Department, the major player in green tech work. The bill, dubbed the Competitiveness Initiative, also allows $22 billion for the National Science Foundation for basic research.

The money doubles the budgets in both areas and covers the first three years of a seven-year plan. Most significantly, it gets away from the yearly budget cycle by preserving a steady flow of money for long-term work in promising, but uncertain, areas such as nanotechnology, supercomputing and alternative energy. Will all this spending produce results? Probably not, but it's Washington's job to chase ideas that office-park research companies can't afford to try.


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