Research Park Legislation

Support for Science Parks Included in Proposed Budget for FY 2012

On February 14th, the President released his proposed budget for FY 2012. It includes support for science parks. From the Office of Management and Budget website:


Enhances Regional Economic Competitiveness

Competitive regional economies are the building blocks of national growth.  The Administration supports growth strategies based on stronger regional clusters of economic activity, better planning, commercialization of research and development, and catalytic capital projects through the $325 million provided for the Economic Development Administration (EDA).  This includes funds to implement the recently enacted America COMPETES Reauthorization Act, including aid to businesses and regions through the Regional Innovation Program and financing for science and research parks.  EDA will also support the Administration’s proposal to make competitive awards for Growth Zones, to bring market-based growth strategies and tax benefits to 20 new areas facing economic distress in urban and rural regions that have both strong potential for growth and significant need.

Regarding the America COMPETES legislation: in late December, John Holdren, Director of the Office of Science and Technology Policy, commented:

“COMPETES keeps America on a path of leadership in an ever more competitive world. It authorizes the continued growth of the budgets of three key agencies that are incubating and generating the breakthroughs of tomorrow -- the Department of Energy’s Office of Science, the laboratories of the National Institute of Standards and Technology, and the National Science Foundation.  COMPETES also bolsters this Administration’s already groundbreaking activities to enhance STEM education -- to raise American students from the middle to the top of the pack and to make sure we are training the next generation of innovative thinkers and doers.” He continued: “It is heartening that Congress today recognized that the maintenance of America’s global leadership in science, technology, and innovation transcends politics and partisanship.  Full funding of the COMPETES Act is among the most important things that Congress can do to ensure America’s continued leadership in the decades ahead.


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President Obama Signs COMPETES

President Obama signed H.R. 5116, the America COMPETES Reauthorization Act. Appropriation is pending.

“These innovative programs and initiatives at the U.S. Department of Commerce, with the help of the America COMPETES Act, will help create jobs here at home, make our businesses more competitive abroad and strengthen the foundation of our economy,” said U.S. Commerce Secretary Gary Locke in a recent press release.

We at the Association of University Research Parks want to especially thank Senator Mark Pryor of Arkansas, who along with Stephen Lehrman of his office tirelessly championed this legislation. Senator Pryor was instrumental in making sure that science park support was included within the America COMPETES legislation, so vital to America's future innovation.