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November 12th, 2007
The August passage of the America Competes Act, particularly in a Congressional session that accomplished little else, makes a huge statement.
The wide-ranging bill authorizes $43.3 billion in funding for basic research and for science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) education.
It's designed to encourage research in what the White House describes as "promising and critical areas, such as nanotechnology, supercomputing and alternative energy sources."
The legislation requires the National Academy of Sciences to conduct a study identifying risks that create barriers to innovation. It authorizes the National Institute of Standards and Technology to establish the Technology Innovation Program, which would direct money to universities and small and midsize businesses doing "high-risk, high-reward" research.
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