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April 29, 2014

JHU President, APL Director Provide Testimony for Senate Hearing on Innovation


Johns Hopkins University President Ron Daniels and APL Director Ralph Semmel recently weighed in on the critical need for sustained federal investments in science and technology research and development.

On April 29, the heads of the nation’s major research agencies testified before the U.S. Senate Committee on Appropriations, chaired by Sen. Barbara Mikulski (D-Md.), regarding the importance of these investments to drive innovation and economic growth. Johns Hopkins was among the leading business, higher education, scientific, and patient care organizations that submitted written testimony in support of continued funding for research.

In his testimony, Daniels noted that “the [National Institutes of Health] has lost more than 20 percent of its purchasing power since 2003, leading to the elimination of about two thousand research projects each year. This has had a direct impact on Johns Hopkins and the work we do, in the form of shelved research, terminated jobs, and lost opportunities for educating and training the next generation of innovators.”

“We firmly believe that sustained federal investments in science and technology are vital to our national security, our economic prosperity, and the future of our nation,” Semmel wrote. “Federal investments in science and technology created the systems that ensure our nation’s security today; they fuel the scientific discoveries and innovations that will serve our society and drive our economy tomorrow; and they create the marketplace that employs the American scientists and engineers who are vital to our nation’s future.”

Semmel offered examples of federally funded science and technology success over APL’s 70-plus-year history, ranging from the development of technologies that protect national security to advances in space science, engineering, and health care. “In most cases, these investments result in technologies that are transitioned to industry where they contribute to commercial innovations and our nation’s economic growth,” he wrote.

Oral testimony was provided by White House Office of Science and Technology Policy Director John Holdren; Department of Energy Secretary Ernest Moniz; National Institutes of Health Director Francis Collins; National Science Foundation Director France C√≥rdova; and Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency Director Arati Prabakhar.

Read President Daniels’ testimony
Read Director Semmel’s testimony
Watch the opening statement (YouTube)

Media contact: Geoff Brown, 240-228-5618, Geoffrey.Brown@jhuapl.edu