May 30, 2019
The Honorable Mikie Sherrill The Honorable Anthony Gonzalez
1208 Longworth House Office Building 1023 Longworth House Office Building
House of Representatives House of Representatives
Washington, D.C. 20515 Washington, D.C. 20515
Dear Representatives Sherrill and Gonzalez:
The undersigned organizations write to thank you for introducing the “Securing American Science and Technology Act of 2019.” We applaud your bipartisan leadership on this timely and critically needed legislation. We strongly support the bill and urge the House of Representatives to pass it as soon as possible.
Our organizations are committed to the protection of American innovation from security threats to the U.S. research enterprise. The Securing American Science and Technology Act (SASTA) takes a proactive and sensible approach to safeguarding federally funded research and development from growing threats of foreign interference, cyberattacks, theft, and espionage. First, the legislation would require the Director of the Office of Science and Technology Policy to establish an interagency working group under the existing authority granted to the National Science and Technology Council. Codifying this improved coordination between the federal science and security agencies into law would address significant challenges in the development of common definitions and effective reporting requirements. It will also help streamline guidelines and harmonize policies across multiple government entities.
Second, the bill would ensure that federal science and security agencies also have a mechanism to engage directly with the academic community as well as industry partners. Direct stakeholder engagement is essential if the United States is to effectively address security threats to its research enterprise. By establishing a new National Academy of Science, Engineering and Medicine (NASEM) “Science, Technology, and Security Roundtable,” the legislation ensures that the research community can provide input as the government works towards the proper balance of security and the open exchange of scientific information and knowledge. The free flow of talent has and continues to be vital to the advancement of American science and innovation. Additionally, the NASEM Roundtable will establish a much-needed forum for universities and national laboratories to share effective practices and procedures with one another.
Thank you for working to address this critical set of issues in a bipartisan manner. We are deeply appreciative of your efforts to engage the higher education and research community in the protection of our national security.