This week in Washington IP events, the House of Representatives hosts a trio of hearings on Wednesday related to technology and innovation. The full House Science Committee also will explore reasons why the U.S. competitive advantage in technological development has been waning, and that committee’s Subcommittee on Communications will follow with a hearing that focuses on ways to improve broadband Internet adoption across American households. On Wednesday afternoon, the House Space Subcommittee will markup a NASA authorization bill that devotes resources towards a manned mission to Mars. On Thursday, the House Financial Technology Task Force will review the rise of mobile payment technology. Elsewhere in our nation’s capital, The Brookings Institution hosts an event to look at strategies for supporting technological innovation and development across a more geographically diverse swath of the United States.
Wednesday, January 29
The Brookings Institution
At 9:30 AM on Wednesday at The Brookings Institution, Falk Auditorium, 1775 Massachusetts Ave. NW, Washington, DC 20036.
Growth in America’s technology sector has been rapid but uneven, concentrated geographically within a few cities where the rising cost of housing makes it difficult for new workers to join the industry. This event will feature a presentation of a recent report completed by The Brookings Institution and the Information Technology and Innovation Foundation (ITIF) on place-based innovation strategies to spread tech innovation across more of America. The presentation will be offered by the report’s author, Mark Muro, Senior Fellow and Policy Director, Metropolitan Policy Director. Following Muro’s presentation will be a fireside chat with Steve Case, Chairman and CEO, Revolution, LLC, and moderated by Kim Hart, Managing Editor, Axios. That chat will be followed by a discussion with a panel including Robert Atkinson, President, ITIF, and co-author of the place-based innovation report; Anthony Hood, Director of Civic Innovation in the Office of the President, The University of Alabama at Birmingham; Timothy Bartik, Senior Economist, W.E. Upjohn Institute; Pamela Lewis, Executive Director, New Economy Initiative; and moderated by Anne Kim, Contributing Editor, The Washington Post. Closing remarks will be provided by Judy Faulkner, CEO and Founder, Epic.
House Committee on Science, Space, and Technology
At 10:00 AM on Wednesday in 2318 Rayburn House Office Building.
Since the middle of the 20th century, America’s position as a leading tech developer has declined slowly along with a falling rate of federal funding of basic research as a percentage of national gross domestic product (GDP). With American companies leaning more heavily on private funding for research and development along with product commercialization, fewer firms are able to pursue risky basic research programs with long product timelines and uncertain applicability to commercial products. The witness panel for this hearing will include Dr. Diane Souvaine, Chair, National Sciences Board; Dr. Eric Schmidt, Founder, Schmidt Futures; and Dr. Chaouki Abdallah, Executive Vice President for Research, Georgia Institute of Technology.
House Subcommittee on Communications and Technology
At 10:30 AM on Wednesday in 2123 Rayburn.
An April 2019 study by the National Telecommunications and Information Administration (NTIA) found that 28 million American households, or 22 percent of the nation’s households, don’t have Internet access subscriptions because of either expense or a perceived lack of need. This hearing will address several issues related to broadband adoption barriers including digital literacy, affordability and access to useful connecting devices. The witness panel for this hearing will include Angela Siefer, Executive Director, National Digital Inclusion Alliance; Joshua Edmonds, Director of Digital Inclusion, City of Detroit, MI; Gigi Sohn, Distinguished Fellow, Georgetown Law Institute for Technology Law and Policy; Jeffrey Sural, Director, Broadband Infrastructure Office, North Carolina Department of Information Technology; and Roslyn Layton, Visiting Scholar, American Enterprise Institute.
House Subcommittee on Space and Aeronautics
At 2:00 PM on Wednesday in 2318 Rayburn.
On January 24, House Space and Aeronautics Subcommittee Chairwoman Rep. Kendra Horn (D-OK) introduced H.R. 5666, the NASA Authorization Act. The bill sets agency milestones for returning a manned mission to the lunar surface by 2028 and a manned mission to Mars by 2033. On Wednesday afternoon, the House Space Subcommittee will convene a meeting to markup H.R. 5666 as the bill works its way towards the House floor.
Thursday, January 30
House Task Force on Financial Technology
At 9:30 AM on Thursday in 2128 Rayburn.
During 2018, the number of check payments trailed the number of automated clearing house debit transfers, marking the first year in which electronic payments outpaced traditional checking transactions. In 2020, the global digital payments market is expected to reach $4.7 trillion USD in transaction value and mobile payments are expected to make up an ever larger share of that value, rising from $745 billion USD in 2019 up to $2.1 trillion in 2023. This hearing by the House Financial Technology Task Force will examine the growing use of mobile payments by American consumers.