Ambitious, Achievable, and Sustainable: A Blueprint for Reclaiming American Research Leadership

Author: Matt Hourihan and Dan Correa


The next Administration should accelerate federal basic and applied research investments over a period of five years to return funding to its historical average as a share of GDP.  While this ambitious yet achievable strategy should encompass the entire research portfolio, it should particularly seek to reverse the long-term erosion of collective investments in physical and computer science, mathematics, and engineering to lay the foundation for economic competitiveness deep into the 21st century. This proposal outlines a strategy and series of steps for the federal government to take to reinvigorate U.S. competitiveness by restoring research and development investments. 

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About the Authors

Matt Hourihan is the director of the R&D Budget and Policy Program for the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS), where he has served since 2011. In this role, he is a regular source of information and analysis on the past, present, and future of public science investments for policymakers and the global science community. He previously served as an energy policy analyst at the Information Technology & Innovation Foundation and as Jan Schori Fellow at the Business Council for Sustainable Energy. He earned a masters degree in public policy with a focus on science and technology policy from George Mason University and a bachelors from Ithaca College.

Daniel Correa is Director of the Day One Project. Prior to starting Day One, Correa served as Assistant Director for Innovation Policy at the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy where he led development of President Barack Obama’s 2015 innovation strategy. A 15-year veteran of the S&T policy community,  he holds law and economics degrees from Yale University.