IRI Urges Policymakers to Continue Funding Critical Research Initiatives

IRI Urges Policymakers to Continue Funding Critical Research Initiatives


Industrial Research Institute Members Include National Laboratories and Corporations that Represent More Than 70 Percent of Privately Funded U.S. Research

WASHINGTON - (June 30, 2008) - The Industrial Research Institute, Inc., (IRI) released a position statement this week urging members of Congress and the presidential candidates to continue to fund critical research in universities and promote economic and regulatory policies that sustain long-term investments in R&D.

IRI's members include national laboratories and global innovation leaders such as Procter & Gamble, Lockheed Martin and Hewlett-Packard that together account for more than 70% of the nation's privately funded research efforts.

“Technological innovation drives our nation's economic growth and spurs job creation,” said Edward Bernstein, president of IRI. “It is particularly important in the face of current economic challenges to maintain healthy levels of investment and to promote policies that strengthen R&D's abilities to move this country back into a period of economic expansion.”

With careful nurturing, technological innovation has kept the American economy thriving for the past 30 years with increased productivity, low inflation and unprecedented economic growth. Increased investments are needed in education and technology to preserve and sustain American competitiveness.

IRI called on Congress and the incoming Administration to work together to foster economic and technology policies that will help this country keep pace with the rest of the world. In its statement, IRI makes 14 specific recommendations, calling on our nation's leaders to:


  • Offer incentives to increase private-sector training and knowledge building for an increasingly diverse work force.

  • Strengthen our system of intellectual-property protection, and allow market forces and the rapid pace of technological change to determine fair competition.

  • Promote strong collaboration between universities and industry to enhance the commercialization of new technologies.

“A well-educated workforce stems from university students having access to extensive resources,” Bernstein added. “This in turn creates economic growth and stability. Congress thus far has done a great job in driving innovation with the America COMPETES legislation. We're asking Washington to build on this and strengthen it.”

Included in the America COMPETES legislation is a doubling of the funds given to three government agencies that support research through grants over the next 10 years, including the National Science Foundation, the Department of Energy's Office of Science and the Department of Commerce's National Institute of Standards and Technology.

To view IRI's complete position statement on U.S. economic and technology policy, please log on to the IRI Web site at:  

About the Industrial Research Institute

The Industrial Research Institute is an organization of some 200 industrial and service companies having common interest in effective management of technological innovation. IRI member companies invest over $100 billion annually in R&D, representing more than 70% of the nation's privately funded effort. These companies, spanning diverse industries, compete in the global marketplace and provide jobs for more than 10 million of America's workers. Together they generate some $3 trillion in annual sales, representing one third of our gross domestic product. IRI welcomes the opportunity to discuss its views on the recommendations in this position statement. For additional information, contact Mr. Edward Bernstein, President, Industrial Research Institute, 2200 Clarendon Blvd Suite 1102, Arlington, VA 22201. Website: