WASHINGTON – U.S. Senator Maggie Hassan (D-NH) joined 13 of her colleagues, including seven Republican Senators and six additional Democratic Senators, in introducing the bipartisan Endless Frontier Act. The bill advances and solidifies the United States’ leadership in scientific and technological innovation through increased investments in the discovery, creation, and manufacturing of technology critical to U.S. 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.
“We must take decisive action to outcompete China and secure supply chains that are critical to our national security, economy, and public health,” said Senator Hassan. “This bill reflects the bipartisan consensus about taking on the Chinese government and making significant research investments that will enable the U.S. to continue to be a world leader in developing innovative technologies that we need for our economy to thrive and for America to stay safe, secure, and free.”
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. Specifically, it 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. Additionally, the bill invests in U.S. manufacturing innovation and competitiveness with over $2.4 billion in funding to enhance and expand the Manufacturing USA network to ensure global leadership in the manufacturing of key technologies. 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.
The bipartisan bill is part of Senator Hassan’s ongoing efforts to outcompete China and invest in U.S. research and manufacturing. Senators Hassan and John Thune (R-SD) recently introduced two bipartisan bills that aim to strengthen national security and better position the United States to be globally competitive in quantum information science (QIS). In February, Senator Hassan and a bipartisan group of her colleagues discussed strengthening the U.S. supply chain with President Joe Biden and Vice President Kamala Harris. The year-end defense bill also included a measure based on a bipartisan bill Senator Hassan cosponsored, the USA Telecommunications Act, which seeks to encourage and support U.S. innovation in the race for 5G by providing funds to support research and development in Western-based alternatives to Chinese equipment providers Huawei and ZTE. In addition, Senator Hassan has worked to strengthen research and development in the U.S. by introducing the bipartisan American Innovation and Jobs Act to support research and development (R&D) investments by innovative startups and by established companies making major R&D investments, which could help the U.S. ramp up its production of semiconductors.