Broad Coalition Launches Day One Project

Sets goal to identify 100 actionable ideas for next Presidential and Congressional term

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January 23rd ⁠— Today a broad coalition of science and technology groups came together at the National Academy of Sciences to announce the launch of the “Day One Project,” a year-long effort to identify 100 actionable ideas that a future Congress or Administration could embrace (see event details here).


The effort will be focused on democratizing the science and technology policymaking process and readying a new generation of experts that can become the policymakers of tomorrow.


Day One is organized around three core ideas:

  • Starting early​, by using this full year to find the 100 most compelling science and technology ideas. To jumpstart, a ​first batch of 15 ideas is being announced today​ - ranging from energy (e.g. how battery storage can become an American manufacturing base), to health (e.g. the case for a DARPA for health) to technology (e.g. how to build an all-of-government effort to give every child exposure to CS and AI education).

  • Inviting everybody to participate​, showcased by a broad and ideologically diverse coalition of groups that are involved in the effort. Among others, the launch event will feature remarks and conversation from: ​John Holdren​, President Obama’s Science Advisor and former Director of the Office of Science and Technology Policy, and Co-Chair of the Day One Project; ​Sudip Parikh​, the new CEO of the American Association for the Advancement of Science, ​Marcia McNutt​, President of the National Academy of Sciences, and ​Tyler Cowen​, Professor of Economics, George Mason University and Chairman of the Mercatus Center.

  • Understanding the policy customer​. Day One will focus its work to be usable by the busy policymaker who values actionable ideas where much of the pre-work has been done. That’s why Day One is launching the ​Day One Accelerator​, an open competition where anyone can submit an idea and get help from seasoned policy experts.

Details on the Launch Event

Day One has attracted support from a ideologically diverse group of organizations that work on science and tech topics. The launch event, was held at the National Academies, and included speakers:

  • John Holdren​, President Obama’s Science Advisor and former Director of the Office of Science and Technology Policy, and Co-Chair of the Day One Project,

  • Sudip Parikh​, the new CEO of the American Association for the Advancement of Science,

  • Marcia McNutt​, President of the National Academy of Sciences,

  • Brenda Darden Wilkerson​, President and CEO of,

  • Alex Azar​, Secretary of the Department of Health and Human Services

  • Eric Lander​, President and Founding Director of the Broad Institute of MIT and Harvard

  • Laura Arnold​, Co-Chair, Arnold Ventures

  • Tim Persons​, Chief Scientist and Managing Director of the Science, Technology

    Assessment, and Analytics team of the U.S. Government Accountability Office,

  • Lori Garver​, CEO of Earthrise,

  • Tyler Cowen​, Professor of Economics, George Mason University and Chairman of the

    Mercatus Center,

  • Zach Graves​, Head of Policy of Lincoln Network,

  • Cristin Dorgelo​, President and CEO of Association of Science and Technology Centers,

  • Ali Nouri​, President of Federation of American Scientists,

  • Tom Kalil​, Chief Innovation Officer of ​Schmidt Futures.​

    For more information on the event, including livestream from 9:30 AM to 4 PM ET on January 23, please see the ​event page​. 

Details on the Day One Project and Accelerator

The Day One Project is housed within the Federation of American Scientists and is led by Dan Correa, who previously served in the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy and led the development of the U.S. National Innovation Strategy, issued in 2015. It is co-chaired by John Holdren, whose five decades of science policy experience include eight years as President Barack Obama’s Science Advisor, and Susan Eisenhower, CEO of the Eisenhower Group, and a renowned expert on national security and energy policy.


Day One also announced the launch of the ​Day One Accelerator​, an open call for new ideas and new voices. Anyone can contribute a short description of their idea here by February 6, 2020 (deadline extended to March 1, 2020).

From these submissions, we will select a cohort of contributors to join us in a 45-day sprint to develop their ideas into compelling policy proposals ready for action with the help of veteran

policy experts. Day One will offer those selected the opportunity to pitch their ideas to current and future policymakers at a Day One event later this year.

Details on Policy Proposals Being Announced Today

To jumpstart its year-long effort, Day One Project announced the release of its first 15 policy proposals on science and technology topics. The Day One team worked closely with each author to both hone their argument and answer the questions that policymakers would have.


The papers that were released are:

  • Addressing the Organ Donor Crisis
    By: ​Donna Cryer, ​Founder, CryerHealth LLC, ​Jennifer Erickson​, Innovation Policy Expert, Crystal Gadegbeku​, Professor of Medicine and Section Chief of Nephrology, Temple University, ​Greg Segal, ​Co-founder and CEO, Organize, and ​Abe Sutton, ​Health Policy Expert. Summary: S​teps the federal government can take to end the organ transplant wait list, saving tens of thousands of lives and billions of taxpayer dollars.


  • Ambitious, Achievable, and Sustainable: A Blueprint for Reclaiming American Research Leadership
    By: ​Matt Hourihan​, Director of the R&D Budget and Policy Program, AAAS, and ​Dan Correa​, Director, Day One Project. Summary:​ A blueprint to restore the foundation for U.S. competitiveness by embarking on a new growth trajectory for federal research spending, reattaining its historic average as a share of GDP over the next five years and reversing the long-term erosion of investments in physical and computer science, mathematics, and engineering.


  • A Civic Research Initiative to Transform State and Local Government
    By: ​Ben Levine, ​Executive Director, MetroLab Network. Summary: A​ proposed federal initiative would expand the emerging field of civic research as “R&D for state and local government” to catalyze technological transformation in critical government services that citizens rely upon most.


  • Closing Critical Gaps from Lab to Market
    By:​ ​Phil Weilerstein, ​CEO, VentureWell​ Shaheen Mamawala, ​Senior Development Officer, VentureWell, and​ Heath Naquin, ​Senior Global and Government Liaison Officer, VentureWell. Summary: T​he U.S. innovation pipeline fails to provide adequate support for researchers translating promising breakthroughs to the marketplace. Forging a more effective commercialization pipeline would dramatically enhance the United States long-term economic competitiveness and innovation leadership.

  • Creating the Health Advanced Research Projects Agency 
    By:​ ​Geoff Ling, ​Professor, Johns Hopkins University ​​and​ Mike Stebbins, ​President, Science Advisors.
    Summary: A​ proposal to establish a Health Advanced Research Projects Agency (HARPA)—a “DARPA for Health”—capable of directly addressing the massive market failures at the center of our healthcare enterprise with new approaches to disease prevention, detection, and treatment.


  • Establishing an National Manufacturing Foundation 
    By:​ ​Sridhar Kota, ​Professor, University of Michigan and Executive Director, MForesight, and ​Tom Mahoney, ​Associate Director, MForesight. Summary: D​ecades of offshoring manufacturing have compromised the United States’ ability to realize the full potential of its tremendous investments in research and development. Establishing a National Manufacturing Foundation would help restore the critical industrial commons, ensuring what is invented here can be made here.


  • Mass Digitizing Biodiversity Collections of the United States 
    By: ​Nick Pyenson, ​Curator of Fossil Marine Mammals, Smithsonian Institute Summary: A​ coordinated effort to mass digitize the physical specimens in U.S. biodiversity collections, positioning the nation to achieve massive advances in the life sciences by unlocking answers to questions about the origin and fate of biodiversity, human health, and our food and national security.


By:​ ​John Leibovitz, ​Venture Partner, Columbia Capital​ ​and​ Ruth Milkman, ​Founding Partner, Quadra Partners. Summary: S​pectrum policy represents an enormous opportunity for creating economic and social value. Rethinking its effective management through a set of targeted reforms can maximizing productive use of the radio spectrum—one of the most valuable resources for the 21s​ t​ century economy and integral for all smartphones, GPS, and WiFi networks.


By:​ ​Ruthe Farmer, ​Chief Evangelist, CSforALL. Summary: T​ he U.S. education system will only fulfill 19 percent of a projected 3.5 million domestic computing jobs by 2026. While just 45% of U.S. high schools offered computer science in 2019, a new National Computer Science Initiative can bring CS education to all students across the United States, dramatically improving a critical technology talent pipeline.

  • A National Energy Storage Initiative ​
    By: ​David Hart, ​Professor, Schar School of Policy and Government, George Mason University
    Summary: C​ lean energy and battery storage technology present an opportunity to revitalize U.S. manufacturing and position the country as a global leader for the 21st century. The proposed National Energy Storage Initiative includes actions to advance energy-storage technologies and develop a strategic new domestic manufacturing sector in the United States.

  • A National Strategy on Privacy and Civil Liberties​ 
    By: ​Alex Marthews, ​National Chair, Restore The Fourth,​ ​and​ Catherine Tucker,​ Professor, MIT Sloan
    Summary: ​Digitization and technology have changed the nature of surveillance in the 21st century. This proposal outlines a series of actions the government can take to institute meaningful protections against government surveillance in the United States.


  • Protecting Privacy in the Artificial Intelligence Era ​
    By: ​Roxanne Heston, ​Research Analyst, Center for Security and Emerging Technology, Georgetown University, and​ Helen Toner, ​Director of Strategy, Center for Security and Emerging Technology, Georgetown University. Summary: W​ ith privacy concerns surrounding the growing use of artificial intelligence, the federal government can take steps to ensure that a set of privacy-enhancing techniques⁠—known as privacy-preserving machine learning⁠—become the default for all applications.


By:​ Bill Bonvillian, ​MIT Lecturer and Senior Director of MIT’S Office of Digital Learning. Summary: U.S. manufacturing employment plummeted by one-third—and 60,000 U.S. factories were closed—between 2000 and 2010, largely driven by international competition. Restoring American manufacturing leadership will require expanding on the initial success of the Advanced Manufacturing Institutes with a comprehensive agenda.


By: ​Nick Maynard​, Chief Operating Officer, US Ignite. Summary: A​n emerging set of smart-city technologies from industry and university labs offer communities tools to help address intractable social and economic challenges. This proposal outlines steps the federal government can take to help communities leverage these technologies more effectively.