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A Guide to Bipartisan Competitiveness Legislation

Congress is potentially moving toward bipartisan passage of a legislative package directed toward enhancing U.S. economic competitiveness. As the two chambers deliberate and hash out details, we want to offer some takeaways from a Bipartisan Policy Center event, Entrepreneurship at the Endless Frontier. An outstanding slate of speakers talked about invention and innovation, the role of public policy, and important issues that Congress should consider as it moves forward.

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Takeaway 1: Understand the Landscape of Competitiveness

We shouldn’t be indifferent as to whether or not [the U.S.] has to lead in these areas … we should be investing in science and technology so we can solve a whole raft of challenges.
Tom Kalil, chief innovation officer, Schmidt Futures

Takeaway 2: Make Inclusion Part of the Core

We need to be more inclusive in our approaches. … We’re missing out on tapping the full innovative potential of our population.
Carol Dahl, Executive Director, The Lemelson Foundation

Takeaway 3: Put Competitiveness in Place

If we’re going to thrive and succeed and enhance our competitiveness, it is not enough to just invest in R&D and spend more. We also need to ensure that investment embeds in regions across the country and drives economic growth and outcomes in diverse places.
Dan Correa, Director of the Day One Project
As we build these institutions, we have to be very sensitive to, what is it we want to accomplish?
Maryann Feldman, professor of public policy, UNC Chapel Hill; research director, Kenan Institute of Private Enterprise

Takeaway 5: Build Experimentation—and Failure—into Public Institutions

Jonathan Gruber: 'How do you solve the problem of the fact that one failure out of ten is considered devastating in political process whereas it’s considered heroic in private?' Sam Hammond: 'Speed and efficacy should really come first because everything flows from that.'
Jonathan Gruber, professor of economics, MIT, & Sam Hammond, director of poverty and welfare policy, Niskanen Center

Final Take