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Tackling Threats to Progress

Happy New Year! Today marks Research!America’s 35th anniversary! Since its inception, Research!America has been a force for innovative advocacy for research. We’ve kept a finger on the public pulse, generated powerful messaging, and fostered convenings and collaborations, all poised to increase investment in, and policy support for, the research and innovation that speeds medical and health progress for all. 

In 2023, we worked with you to:

Take a look at the full breadth of our 2023 accomplishments.

Thank you for your partnership in advocacy. As we step into 2024, we look forward to continued collaboration.

On The Hill: Congress returns on Jan. 8 with a sense of urgency to finalize FY24 appropriations. We heard this morning from Erik Fatemi of Cornerstone Government Affairs about the appropriations outlook in the new year. During this members-only discussion, Erik walked us through several possible scenarios, including a partial government shutdown should Congress fail to pass its first set of bills by midnight on Jan. 19. Uncertainty around both defense and non-defense discretionary spending continues to unfold as appropriators attempt to finalize “topline” FY24 funding levels.

Please use this week’s #CuresNotCuts graphic to remind your Senators and Representatives of what’s on the line. Take a page out of former NFL star Rob Gronkowski’s playbook to make the case for greater, not less, funding for NIH and other research agencies in FY24 as our nation tackles rising health threats like valley fever.

Time Sensitive Request: The Department of Commerce’s National Institutes of Standards and Technology (NIST) is seeking comments on a proposed framework for implementing the “march-in” provisions of the 1980 Bayh-Dole Act. The proposal marks a significant change in federal policy, potentially placing NIST, NIH, and other federal research agencies in the position of evaluating market prices of products and rescinding technology transfer agreements if the price of a product is deemed “unreasonable.” 

Yesterday, Research!America sent a letter to the Secretary of Commerce requesting a 90-day extension for the comment period on the march-in rights framework. We believe that the potential implications of these proposed modifications merit additional time for input from stakeholders. We ask that your organization consider submitting comments on the framework, and we encourage you to support the request for a 90-day extension of the Feb. 6, 2024 deadline, using this template.

For More on March-in: Save the date for a march-in webinar on Jan. 25, at 11 a.m. ET. We will host Dr. John Hamre, former U.S. Deputy Secretary of Defense and President and CEO at the Center for Strategic and International Studies, and Capitol Hill veteran and health policy expert Paul Kim for a conversation about U.S. technology transfer, the Commerce Department proposal, and how research advocates can weigh in.

Ensuring Healthier Futures For All: Join us for our next alliance discussion on Friday, Jan. 12, at 12 p.m. ET, featuring Dr. Howard Zucker, Deputy Director for Global Health at the CDC, who will discuss the agency’s work abroad and how it is instrumental in protecting the health of the nation and the international community: What are the “underlying conditions” our planet is suffering from today? And what is CDC doing to help address their impacts and ensure a healthier future for us all? Be sure to bring your questions for this informative session. 

Making Critical Public Health Progress: An example of an organization that is striving for a healthier future for all of us is Gavi, The Vaccine Alliance, a global leader in vaccinating over half the world’s children against deadly and debilitating infectious diseases. In recognition of all their contributions to public health progress, Gavi will receive Research!America’s 2024 Rapid Translation Award at our 2024 Advocacy Awards on March 13.

In Remembrance: Research!America is deeply saddened by the death of former Congresswoman Eddie Bernice Johnson (D-TX). We are grateful for her significant contributions to advancements in science and technology – many of which will reverberate for decades to come – throughout her five decades of public service. As a nurse by training, and the first person of color and first woman to chair the House Science, Space, and Technology Committee, she played a pivotal role in the passage of the 2022 CHIPS and Science Act. She was awarded Research!America’s Edwin C. Whitehead Award for Medical Research Advocacy in 2021, recognizing her longstanding commitment to advancing health and scientific research.

We commend her inspired legacy and extend our deepest condolences to Congresswoman Johnson’s family, friends, and colleagues.