House lawmakers wrapped up the year by passing three bills aimed at strengthening government programs for people hoping to pursue careers in science, technology, engineering and math. As both the government and the private sector struggle to fill STEM positions with top talent, the bipartisan legislation would support education and training initiatives for women, veterans and other groups who are historically underrepresented in STEM fields.
Sens. Chris Coons, D-Delaware, and Lindsey Graham, R-South Carolina; and Reps. Ben Ray Luján, D-New Mexico, and Joe Wilson, R-South Carolina, recently introduced bipartisan, bicameral legislation to establish a nonprofit foundation for the U.S. Department of Energy that would channel private-sector investments and accelerate the commercialization of innovative technologies in energy.
A major trade association representing the technology industry on Monday announced its formal support for the final version of the GOP tax bill. The Information Technology Industry Council (ITI) said in a letter to members of Congress that it believes the bill will benefit the technology industry.
“[W]hen we look at CTE from a STEM perspective,” Gardner explained, “the things we want to see are better integration of STEM and CTE together. So many of the CTE pathways have STEM in them, but there's this very big separation between CTE and STEM in our schools.”
The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) has voted to repeal its landmark net neutrality protections, capping off a months-long campaign by the agency’s Republicans to deregulate the broadband industry. The FCC voted 3-2 along party lines Thursday to scrap its 2015 Open Internet Order as Democratic lawmakers and dozens of activists protested outside.
The drone industry pleaded with Congress on Wednesday to ease restrictions on flight operations, warning that the U.S. is falling behind to other countries that are using the emerging technology in innovative ways. The use of unmanned aircraft systems (UAS) has exploded in recent years, with drones being deployed to monitor crops, fight wildfires, inspect infrastructure and assist with first response and hurricane recovery efforts.
The American patent system is the lifeblood of the U.S. innovation economy. Businesses that secure patents innovate at higher rates than those that lack intellectual property; startups and new businesses that hold patents attract capital more easily than those that do not; and startups that obtain a patent are more likely to go public.
The conventional wisdom about the tech industry’s relationship with Donald Trump is that it's a street brawl, with Silicon Valley's liberal CEOs clashing with the president on everything from immigration to climate change to transgender rights. But the reality is that Silicon Valley is getting much of what it wants.
U.S. Senators Kirsten Gillibrand, D-New York, and Todd Young, R-Indiana, have made it their mission to help students get career and technical education skills. Earlier this year they introduced the “21st Century Strengthening On Programs that Cultivate Learning Approaches for Successful Students Act," which would give federal funding for equipment for career and technical education programs and give teachers more training on how to use the equipment.
A relatively simple way to boost the economy and make America even greater is to fix a patent system gone awry. In recent years, major changes to intellectual property policy by Congress, the courts and the executive branch have thrown the system out of whack, deterring inventors from the kind of innovation that creates jobs and growth.