This week in the U.S. Capitol and Washington D.C area., technology and innovation hearings in the House of Representatives will focus on tech at the Environmental Protection Agency, small business contract programs at the Small Business Administration, NASA’s deep space exploration program and sustainability technologies for the transportation sector. Over in the Senate, committee hearings will look at the mineral supply chain for clean energy tech and the regulation of extremist content on digital platforms in response to mass violence. The week kicks off with a discussion at the Brookings Institution of the impacts of federal data privacy legislation, while the Information Technology and Innovation Foundation will host a mid-week event on data-driven innovations in drug development.
Monday, September 16
The Brookings Institution
At 3:30 PM on Monday at Falk Auditorium, Brookings Institution, 1775 Massachusetts Ave. NW, Washington, DC 20036.
Politicians in our nation’s capital have been working towards passing federal-level legislation on data privacy but questions exist regarding the impact of a new law on disclosure requirements for consumer-facing companies and privacy compliance for cloud-based entities. This event will look at the potential effects of such legislation on the healthcare and education sectors, how proposed legislation should allow for innovation and ways it could affect consumer activity online. The event features a discussion with a panel including Jamie Boone, Vice President, Government Affairs, Consumer Technology Association; Morgan Reed, President, ACT | The App Association; and Amie Stepanovich, Executive Director, Silicon Flatirons. The panel discussion will be moderated by Nicol Turner Lee, Fellow, Governance Studies, Center for Technology Innovation.
Tuesday, September 17
Senate Committee on Energy and Natural Resources
At 9:30 AM on Tuesday in 366 Dirksen Senate Office Building.
Solar panels, wind turbines and other clean energy technologies have been hailed for their ability to reduce carbon emissions in generating electricity. However, these technologies have created their own problems through mineral extraction activities that may contribute to deforestation and ecological collapse issues. Further, recent news reports indicate that many companies around the world involved in mineral extraction for clean energy technologies have been linked with human rights abuses in their own mines. The witness panel for this hearing will include the Honorable Daniel Simmons, Assistant Secretary for the Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy, U.S. Department of Energy; Dr. Morgan Bazilian, Director of the Payne Institute and Professor of Public Policy, Colorado School of Mines; Allison Carlson, Senior Vice President, Foreign Policy Analytics; Robert Kang, CEO, Blue Whale Materials, LLC; and Mark Mills, Senior Fellow, Manhattan Institute for Policy Research, Inc.
Wednesday, September 18
House Subcommittee on Space and Aeronautics
At 10:00 AM on Wednesday in 2318 Rayburn House Office Building.
NASA’s plans to send a manned mission to Mars haven’t been progressing as quickly as predicted and in late August, the agency announced that the first launch of the Space Launch System (SLS) would be pushed from the second half of 2020 into early 2021. The witness panel for this hearing will include Kenneth Bowersox, Acting Associate Administrator, Human Exploration and Operations, NASA; Cristina Chaplain, Director, Contracting and National Security Acquisitions, U.S. Government Accountability Office; and Doug Cooke, Owner, Cooke Concepts and Solutions, and Former Associate Administrator, Exploration Systems, NASA.
Senate Committee on Commerce, Science, and Transportation
At 10:00 AM on Wednesday in 216 Hart Senate Office Building.
Recent instances of mass violence, such as the March shooting event at Christchurch in New Zealand that was livestreamed by the shooter, have caused many to question the role that social media companies have in removing violent and extremist content from their platforms. The witness panel for this hearing will include Monika Bickert, Head of Global Policy Management, Facebook; Nick Pickles, Public Policy Director, Twitter; and Derek Slater, Global Director of Information Policy, Google.
Information Technology and Innovation Foundation
At 1:00 PM on Wednesday at the Information Technology and Innovation Foundation, Center for Data Innovation, 1101 K St. NW, Suite 610A, Washington, DC 20005.
Artificial intelligence and data analytics have the potential to unlock a new wave of innovation in drug development although barriers to data access in the U.S. might hamper advances in this field. This event will explore a new report on opportunities to improve data-driven innovation in drug development and feature a panel discussion on how data can impact drug development and lead to new medical cures. The panel at this event will include Christopher Austin, Director, National Center for Advancing Translational Services, National Institutes of Health; Bradford Casey, Associate Director of Research Programs, The Michael J. Fox Foundation; and Subha Madhavan, Chief Data Scientist, Georgetown University Medical Center and Director, Biomedical Informatics. The panel discussion will be moderated by Joshua New, Senior Policy Analyst, ITIF’s Center for Data Innovation.
House Subcommittee on Energy
At 2:00 PM on Wednesday in 2318 Rayburn.
Fossil fuel emissions have increased the importance of pursuing sustainable developments in the transportation sector. Although ridesharing has been touted as being more environmentally friendly than car ownership, a recent study using data collected by U.S. federal agencies has shown that, at least for group events, shuttle buses contribute a reduced carbon footprint and cause less traffic congestion than ridesharing operations. Some institutions, like the University of Georgia, have been experimenting with electric bike sharing programs to promote sustainable transportation. The witness panel for this hearing will include James Chen, Vice President of Public Policy, Rivian Automotive LLC; Ann Schlenker, Director, Center for Transportation Research, Argonne National Laboratory; Brooke Coleman, Executive Director, Advanced Biofuels Business Council; Dr. Claus Daniel, Director, Sustainable Transportation Program, Oak Ridge National Laboratory; Tim Cortes, Vice President of Hydrogen Energy Systems, Plug Power Inc.
Thursday, September 19
House Subcommittee on Commerce, Justice, Science, and Related Agencies
At 10:00 AM on Thursday in H-309 Capitol Building.
Encouraging students to pursue an education in STEM-related topics is important for supporting the next generation of technological innovation. Some institutions have engaged in research projects designed to identify ways of promoting the study of STEM topics among students. The witness panel for this hearing will include Michael Kincaid, Associate Administrator for STEM Engagement, NASA; and Dr. Karen Marrongelle, Assistant Director of the National Science Foundation for Education and Human Resources.
House Subcommittee on Innovation and Workforce Development
At 10:00 AM on Thursday in 2360 Rayburn.
This year, the Small Business Administration (SBA) announced a revised program policy directive for both the Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) and Small Business Technology Transfer (STTR) contract programs, which changed data rights protections for companies participating in these programs. This hearing will focus on the impact that SBIR, STTR and growth accelerators have in helping entrepreneurs and small businesses grow and create jobs. The witness panel for this hearing will include Alison Brown, President and CEO, Navsys Corporation; Rohit Shukla, CEO, Larta Industries; Javier Saade, Managing Partner and Venture Partner, Impact Master Holdings and Fenway Summer Ventures; and Ron Shroder, CEO and President, Frontier Technology, Inc.
House Committee on Science, Space and Technology
At 10:00 AM on Thursday in 2318 Rayburn.
News reports indicate that the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is considering a series of rule changes that would deregulate certain standards in carbon emissions, vehicle fuel efficiency and waterway pollution. In July, House Democrats criticized the EPA after the agency’s scientific integrity official failed to appear at a House Science Committee hearing. The sole witness at this panel will be the Honorable Andrew Wheeler, Administrator, EPA.
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