(Washington, DC) - Today, House Science Committee Members introduced two bipartisan bills to further strengthen and secure two of the Department of Energy’s (DOE) most important interagency research partnerships.
DOE is a global leader in energy technology development and science innovation with a wide range of assets, including 17 world-class national laboratories and 28 scientific user facilities. By partnering together and combining resources, DOE and agencies like NASA and the National Science Foundation (NSF) tackle some of our most critical national science and technology challenges. As international competition grows and new opportunities for government-wide coordination and collaboration emerge, there is a need to strengthen these types of interagency research partnerships and preserve them for the next generation.
Last month, the Committee held a hearing examining DOE’s role in the federal research enterprise, which highlighted many of DOE’s current interagency partnerships. It also unanimously passed two previous DOE interagency research bills through Committee, continuing the bipartisan tradition of strengthening these partnerships and maximizing the return on investment of taxpayer dollars.
The DOE and NASA Interagency Research Coordination Act, introduced by Energy Subcommittee Chairman Brandon Williams (R-NY) and Space and Aeronautics Subcommittee Ranking Member Eric Sorensen (D-IL), will improve interagency coordination between DOE and NASA. The two agencies have a long history of collaboration on fundamental and early-stage research, particularly on nuclear propulsion and power for spacecraft. Using their unique assets, DOE and NASA can work together on the critical challenges of building a lunar surface infrastructure and efficiently powering a crewed journey to Mars.
“I am thrilled to announce the introduction of the DOE and NASA Interagency Research Coordination Act. My legislation will help support the cross-cutting and collaborative research spanning across the Department of Energy and NASA, and will codify their working relationship into law,” said Chairman Williams. “Together, the DOE and NASA will engage directly with each other on R&D for propulsion systems, fundamental high-energy physics, quantum network infrastructure, and more. These two agencies share a common goal of advancing scientific knowledge and improving our understanding of the universe. This bill will facilitate that mission and I look forward to the report on their joint findings and progress for years to come.”
"Strong collaborations push our understanding of the world to new heights," said Ranking Member Sorensen. "I'm proud to spearhead this bipartisan initiative with my colleagues to codify the natural relationship between the National Aeronautics and Space Administration and Department of Energy to prepare our country for the next great advancements in science and exploration.”
The DOE and NSF Interagency Research Act, sponsored by Research and Technology Subcommittee Ranking Member Haley Stevens (D-MI) and cosponsored by Rep. Jim Baird (R-IN), will support DOE’s longstanding partnership with NSF, working on a wide range of research topics such as physics, quantum information sciences, artificial intelligence, advanced manufacturing, and workforce and education development. The bill enhances both the DOE and NSF’s capabilities to maximize its impacts by leveraging each other’s investments in research and development.
“I am proud to sponsor the bipartisan DOE and NSF Interagency Research Act,” said Ranking Member Stevens. “These two agencies are absolutely critical to ensuring our national competitiveness both today and for the decades to come. This bill further strengthens the legislative foundation we secured with the landmark CHIPS and Science Act last summer. Ensuring our premiere science are able to foster a collaborative research environment is critical to supporting our overall R&D enterprise, and this bill will do just that. Importantly, by strengthening education and training, the bill will also advance efforts to build a strong STEM workforce. I would like to thank my colleague Congressman Baird for joining me in introducing this bill, and I look forward to working with all of my colleagues in advancing these provisions as soon as possible.”
“The United States has earned its reputation as a world leader in scientific research and innovation, and now more than ever, we must reinforce critical partnerships that promote domestic advancements,” said Congressman Baird. “As we face increased competition in this space from China, we must continue to empower the Department of Energy and the National Science Foundation to continue their collaborations with well-vetted scientific and engineering fields so that the U.S. can continue its global leadership in this space. I’m proud to partner with Rep. Stevens to deliver a commonsense and bipartisan approach that promotes American innovation and our cutting-edge technology.”