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ARL Joins 252 Groups, 10 Business Leaders in Call to Action for American “Innovation Imperative”

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image CC-BY-NC-ND by Brian Auer

Following the American Academy of Arts & Sciences (AAAS) report Restoring the Foundation: The Vital Role of Research in Preserving the American Dream, ARL today joined scores of other organizations as well as leaders of American business, industry, higher education, science, and engineering in an urgent call to action for stronger federal policies and investment to drive domestic research and development. Ten CEOs and 252 organizations, including ARL, signed “Innovation: An American Imperative” (PDF), a document aimed at federal decision makers and legislators. The document underscores the findings—and warnings—contained in the AAAS report, Restoring the Foundation.

The CEOs who have signed on to “Innovation: An American Imperative” are:

  • Samuel R. Allen, Chairman & CEO, John Deere
  • Norman R. Augustine, Co-Chair, Restoring the Foundation
  • Wes Bush, Chairman, President & CEO, Northrop Grumman
  • Kenneth C. Frazier, Chairman & CEO, Merck & Co., Inc.
  • Marillyn A. Hewson, Chairman, President & CEO, Lockheed Martin Corporation
  • Charles O. Holliday, Chairman, Royal Dutch Shell plc
  • Joseph Jimenez, CEO, Novartis
  • W. James McNerney Jr., Chairman of the Board & CEO, The Boeing Company
  • Satya Nadella, CEO, Microsoft
  • Jay Timmons, President and CEO, National Association of Manufacturers

According to Restoring the Foundation, “There is a deficit between what America is investing and what it should be investing to remain competitive, not only in research but in innovation and job creation.” The United States is failing to keep pace with competitor nations with regard to investments in basic research and development. America’s ascendency in the 20th century was due in large part—if not primarily—to its investments in science and engineering research. Basic research is behind every new product brought to market, every new medical device or drug, every new defense and space technology and many innovative business practices.

Over the last two decades, a steady decline in investment in research and development (R&D) in the United States has allowed our nation to fall to 10th place in R&D investment among Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) nations as a percentage of gross domestic product (GDP).

At this pace, China will surpass the United States in R&D intensity in about eight years.

These developments led a diverse coalition of those concerned with the future of research in America to join together in presenting the innovation imperative to federal policy makers and urging them to take action to:

  • End sequestration’s deep cuts to federal investments in R&D
  • Make permanent a strengthened federal R&D tax credit
  • Improve student achievement in science, technology, engineering, mathematics (STEM)
  • Reform US visa policy
  • Streamline or eliminate costly and inefficient regulations
  • Reaffirm merit-based peer review
  • Stimulate further improvements in advanced manufacturing

Details on these action items, as well as a complete list of signatories, are included in the full document, “Innovation: An American Imperative” (PDF), which is also posted on the websites of each of the organizations coordinating this effort:

  • American Academy of Arts & Sciences
  • American Association for the Advancement of Science
  • American Association of Universities
  • Association of Public and Land-grant Universities
  • Battelle
  • Coalition for National Science Funding
  • Coalition for National Security Research
  • Council on Competitiveness
  • Energy Sciences Coalition
  • Task Force on American Innovation
  • The Science Coalition

Visit http://www.innovationimperative.us/ and follow the hashtag #InnovationImperative on social media.


The Association of Research Libraries (ARL) is a nonprofit organization of 124 research libraries in the US and Canada. ARL’s mission is to influence the changing environment of scholarly communication and the public policies that affect research libraries and the diverse communities they serve. ARL pursues this mission by advancing the goals of its member research libraries, providing leadership in public and information policy to the scholarly and higher education communities, fostering the exchange of ideas and expertise, facilitating the emergence of new roles for research libraries, and shaping a future environment that leverages its interests with those of allied organizations. ARL is on the web at http://www.arl.org/.

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