WASHINGTON — Today, U.S. Senator Chris Coons (D-Del.) joined Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.) and Senator Todd Young (R-Ind.) in introducing the Endless Frontier Act. The bill is a bold initiative to solidify the United States’ leadership in scientific and technological innovation through increased investments in the discovery, creation, and manufacturing of technology critical to national security and economic competitiveness. The bipartisan legislation further targets support to ensure new research investments translate into American industries and manufacturing and high-tech jobs in regions across the country to become global centers of emerging technology.
In addition to Senators Coons, Schumer, and Young, the Endless Frontier Act is cosponsored in the Senate by U.S. Senators Maggie Hassan (D-N.H.), Susan Collins (R-Maine), Rob Portman (R-Ohio), Tammy Baldwin (D-Wis.), Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.), Gary Peters (D-Mich.), Steve Daines (R-Mont.), and Roy Blunt (R-Mo.). Companion legislation was introduced in the House of Representatives by U.S. Representatives Ro Khanna (D-Calif.) and Representative Mike Gallagher (R-Wis.).
“For too long, the U.S. government has underinvested not only in basic research and development, but also in commercializing key innovations by our scientific community,” said Senator Coons. “I’m proud to cosponsor the bipartisan Endless Frontier Act, which will position the United States to lead the world in the industries of the future and effectively compete with China. By investing in regional technology hubs, the legislation will also ensure that the economic growth generated by these scientific investments is broadly shared across the country.”
“I am proud to reintroduce the bold, bipartisan and bicameral Endless Frontier Act today with Senator Todd Young and Representatives Ro Khanna and Mike Gallagher to address several dangerous weak spots in America’s economy and national security that threaten our global technological leadership,” said Majority Leader Schumer. “This legislation will enhance American competitiveness with China and other countries by investing in American innovation, creating good-paying American manufacturing and high-tech jobs, and strengthening America’s research and development capabilities. The Endless Frontier Act is the key to preserving America’s position on the world stage as a current and future technological leader in the 21st Century.”
“We face a pivotal time in history. Right now, the Chinese Communist Party is emphasizing to the world that the United States is a divided nation. This is a rare opportunity to show the authoritarians in Beijing, and the rest of the world, that when it comes to our national security, and most importantly our China policy, we are united. The Endless Frontier Act is our path forward. I’ve worked with my colleagues to ensure the Endless Frontier Act will help invest in innovative small businesses that create jobs, invest in critical emerging technologies, and put America in a position to outgrow, out-innovate, and out-compete our leading geopolitical foe,” said Senator Young.
Additional Background on the Bipartisan Endless Frontier Act
Today, the United States’ position as the unequivocal global leader in scientific and technological ingenuity and innovation is under pressure from China and is eroding. U.S. competitiveness and national security are being threatened by decades of U.S. underinvestment in research, manufacturing, and workforce development, coupled with foreign competitors stealing American intellectual property and aggressively investing to dominate the key technology fields of today and of the future.
The Endless Frontier Act will reinvigorate the U.S. innovation economy, support research and development throughout the country, help lead to the creation of new jobs of the future here in America, and keep the U.S. economically competitive against China and other countries. The members of Congress emphasize that without a significant and sustained increase in investment in research, education and training, technology transfer and entrepreneurship, manufacturing, and the broader U.S. innovation ecosystem across the nation, it is only a matter of time before America’s global competitors overtake the U.S. in terms of technological primacy, threatening national security and prosperity.
Specifically, the Endless Frontier Act proposes an expansion of the National Science Foundation (NSF) with the establishment of a new Technology and Innovation Directorate within NSF to advance research and development in 10 key technology focus areas, including artificial intelligence, semiconductors, quantum computing, advanced communications, biotechnology, and advanced energy.
The newly established Technology and Innovation Directorate would receive $100 billion over five years to invest in basic and advanced research, commercialization, and education and training programs in technology areas critical to national leadership. An additional $10 billion would be authorized at the Department of Commerce to support regional technology strategies and to designate at least 10 regional technology hubs, awarding funds for comprehensive investment initiatives that position regions across the country as global centers for the research, development, entrepreneurship, and manufacturing of new key technologies.
The Endless Frontier Act also establishes a new Supply Chain Resiliency and Crisis Response Program with the national security mission of strengthening critical technology supply chains in the U.S. and with global allies and partners. To support the country’s national security capabilities, the bill mandates a strategy on national competitiveness and ingenuity in science, research, and manufacturing to support the national security strategy.