Washington, DC – Tapping America´s Potential (TAP), a coalition of 16 of the nation´s leading business organizations, today joined U.S. business and higher education leaders to unveil "The American Innovation Proclamation," which urges Congress to act now on an innovation agenda to maintain U.S. competitiveness. The proclamation, which was delivered to every Capitol Hill office and presented to Members of Congress during a press conference held today, calls for action on four key policy priorities aimed at promoting and sustaining U.S. innovation leadership. More than 270 American business and higher education leaders signed the call to action on innovation.

"American innovation fuels the U.S. economy and helps to enhance our ability to compete in the 21st century global marketplace," said Susan Traiman, Director of Education and Workforce Policy at Business Roundtable, a TAP founding member. "It is vital that Congress move ahead this year on legislation that will allow us to continue our rich tradition of ingenuity."

In addition to the press conference to unveil the proclamation, today´s events include a House Science and Technology Committee hearing on innovation and competitiveness. Testifying at that hearing is Harold McGraw III, Chairman, President and CEO of The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc., and Chairman of Business Roundtable. In his prepared remarks, Mr. McGraw stated:

"It is worth noting that the forces driving economic integration and global competition were all invented here. More than any other country, the United States created the conditions for global economic growth driven by accelerated technological innovation. America is in the best position to take advantage of the changing competitive landscape as long as we recognize the challenges we face and make the investments required to succeed in the new environment."

The proclamation calls for Congress to act now to renew America´s commitment to discovery by:

  • Doubling the basic research budgets at the National Science Foundation, the National Institute of Standards and Technology, the Department of Energy´s Office of Science, and the Department of Defense;
  • Improving student achievement in math and science through increased funding of proven programs and incentives for science and math teacher recruitment and professional development;
  • Welcoming highly educated foreign professionals, particularly those holding advanced science, technology, engineering, or mathematics degrees, especially from U.S. universities, by reforming U.S. visa policies; and
  • Making permanent a strengthened R&D Tax Credit to encourage continued private-sector innovation investment.

In July 2005, the U.S. business community formed the TAP campaign in an effort to ensure that America develops the talented and capable workforce that is needed to meet the growing demands of the ever-changing global marketplace. They set the goal of doubling the number of science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) graduates by 2015, and TAP members have actively worked since that time to advance their agenda with policymakers in Congress and the Administration.

For live Web casts of the press conference and hearing, visit the House Science and Technology Committee Web site at http://www.science.house.gov.

To learn more about TAP and the proclamation, visit http://www.tap2015.org.

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