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Yesterday, Cisco Chairman John Morgridge testified before the House Science Committee at a hearing entitled, “U.S. Competitiveness: The Innovation Challenge.” He was joined on the panel by the President of Johns Hopkins University, Dr. William Brody, and Mr. Nick Donofiro, EVP of Innovation and Technology at the IBM Corporation. All of the written testimony, the full webcast and the press release on the hearing can be viewed here.

Morgridge stated in his testimony, “It is becoming very clear that the United States can no longer take for granted our place as the global economic, technology, and innovation leader. There is much that government and industry can do to address this challenge, but we cannot be complacent in our response. We must recognize the challenge and take it head on if we hope to be successful.”

He suggested three areas where the U.S. should focus to keep the innovative and competitive spirit of the nation alive: 1) focus on education, particularly in K-12 math and science; 2) building appropriate physical insfrastructure, particularly ubiquitous broadband and new spectrum for wireless broadband; and 3) a proper legal framework, including a strengthened patent system and enforcement of existing intellectual property laws.

The hearing was well attended by members of the Committee, including two guest members of the Appropriations committee. All were generally on the same page that these are extremely important issues being addressed and that much more must be done to make other members of Congress aware of the vital importance of sufficiently funding long-term research and development, while also focusing on what can be done to encourage more students in math and science and help good teachers go and stay in these disciplines.

Chairman Boehlert quoted Mario Andretti at one point in referring to the deliberative nature of getting funding for important research and development projects, saying, “If you’re in control, you’re going too slow.”

I would encourage you to read Mr. Morgridge’s testimony, as well as the other testimony offered for this important hearing.

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