A new executive order issued July 28 includes a number of measures designed to strengthen domestic manufacturing, support American innovation and research and development, and promote global supply chain resilience. To achieve these goals, the EO aims to improve transparency, cut red tape, and streamline reporting requirements in the federal R&D process to better track progress towards domestic manufacturing goals, including by:
- directing the Department of Commerce to develop contract terms for use by agencies to ease implementation and encouraging agencies to use these terms to collect data on inventions and their manufacturing locations;
- encouraging agencies to streamline reporting requirements to reduce the administrative burden on funding recipients and provide more consistent innovation and commercialization data;
- directing most agencies to transition reporting requirements to a single reporting portal by the end of 2025;
- requiring agencies that make substantial R&D investments to report annually to the Made in America Director in the Office of Management and Budget on the utilization of inventions developed through their R&D awards, as well as where products using those inventions are being manufactured; and
- modernizing the use of the government reporting system (iEdison) to help researchers, companies, and the public better understand the innovation landscape in the U.S.
The EO also seeks to incentivize the manufacture of new inventions in the U.S. when those inventions are developed with federal funds, including by encouraging agencies to consider domestic manufacturing in their R&D award solicitations, instructing the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy to add domestic manufacturing to the federal government’s technology R&D roadmaps, encouraging agencies to consider using the broad range of agency authorities used to purchase or invest in leading-edge technologies to support their production in the U.S, and extending the incentive to manufacture domestically beyond use of those authorities that historically included such a requirement.
Additionally, the EO seeks to encourage the expansion of domestic production for critical industries while maintaining flexibility to build strong international R&D partnerships by instructing agencies to consider the economic and national security interests of the U.S. (including whether certain critical or emerging technologies should be produced domestically) and, in the case of critical and emerging technologies, encouraging agencies to expand the domestic manufacturing requirement to not just exclusive licensees but other entities.
Lastly, the EO makes the domestic manufacturing waiver process clearer, timelier, and more consistent by instructing the DOC to develop a set of common waiver questions for use across the U.S. government, requiring waiver applicants to describe the conditions under which the invention will be manufactured abroad (including unionization of workplaces, health and safety standards, labor and wage laws, and environmental impacts), encouraging agencies to improve the timeliness of the waiver process by acknowledging receipt of waiver applications within ten business days and finalizing waiver decisions as soon as possible, and instructing the DOC to improve the transparency of the waiver process by developing public guidance on how agencies will approach waiver decisions.
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