Coalition calls to fund tech and science research in future coronavirus financial relief

On Monday, May 4, the Task Force on American Innovation (TFAI) organized a letter and press release urging Congress to recommit funding to national tech and science research in any future coronavirus legislation. TFAI––a coalition of companies, business and university associations, and professional societies that advocate for federal investment in basic science research––was joined by seventeen other organizations in urging Congress to invest in the future health of the U.S. research enterprise.

The 18-group coalition is raising alarm to the dramatic reduction in research activity across the country as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, including the inability of U.S. companies and universities to train the STEM workforce. The letter further emphasizes the integral role that science and engineering research will play in rebuilding the United States economy and responding to the health challenges that result from the pandemic.

The University of Oregon participates in several of the groups that signed the letter including The Science Coalition, Friends of IES (Institute of Education Sciences), and the National Photonics Initiative.

The signers ask for $26 billion in research relief to support three broad requests of Congressional leadership: 1) Significantly Increase Scientific Research Funding Across Federal Science Agencies; 2) Maintain and Grow our STEM Workforce; and 3) Invest in Essential Infrastructure.The letter’s request is consistent with the joint AAU-APLU-ACE-AAMC recommendations and specifically cites the group's April 7 research relief letter.

“America’s scientific research enterprise––both public and private––is the most robust in the world and a national asset for economic growth and national security. However, at a time when Congress, the Administration, and state and local leaders are relying on this national asset to find solutions to end this crisis, our nation’s research enterprise is in peril,” the letter reads.

For more information on the TFAI letter to Congressional leadership, check out Politico’s coverage.