House and Senate budget negotiators have a tremendous opportunity this year to address a growing federal deficit and take bold action to spur our nation's economy.
I am referring to an innovation deficit that threatens America's ability to compete on the global economic stage and undermines attempts to address this country's long-term fiscal challenges. The innovation deficit is a problem for higher education institutions, particularly major research universities, but it is more broadly a serious threat to our national economy and even our national security.
It is a deficit driven by the growing gap between what our nation invests in scientific, medical and technological research and what we should be spending to stay ahead of competitors such as China, South Korea and India. That spending gap means higher education institutions and other research organizations face shrinking resources in their efforts to achieve breakthroughs on many fronts, from the race to cure to dreaded diseases such as cancer to the quest to generate cleaner and more efficient energy supplies.