Last week, the Greater Boston Chamber of Commerce led a delegation to Washington, D.C. to meet with lawmakers about the importance of federal research funding as part of the national Business for Federal Research Funding (BFRF) Coalition. The BFRF Coalition is a broad-based coalition of more than 75 U.S. chambers of commerce and business associations that advocate for increased research funding in the federal budget and bring heightened awareness to the critical economic impact that federal research funding has on the nation’s competitiveness. Formed by the Greater Boston Chamber in 2014, BFRF represents a strong cross-section of the nation’s business community, with broad geographic diversity among its members. A full list of coalition members is available here, along with additional information about Business for Federal Research Funding.
While in D.C., Coalition members engaged in a series of meetings with members of Congress, including a bi-partisan Senate Roundtable discussion hosted by Senator Cory Gardner (R-CO) and Senator Gary Peters (D-MI); a meeting with issue experts at the Wilson Center to look at global approaches to funding scientific and medical research; a meeting with Dr. Walter Copan, Director of the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) and Dr. Frances Córdova, Director of the National Science Foundation (NSF); and meetings with members and staff from the House and Senate Committees on Appropriations as well as individual representatives and senators, including Senator Ed Markey and Senator Elizabeth Warren.
The Fiscal Year 2019 appropriations process is now underway, and the Coalition is urging Congress to continue to support critical research accounts in the FY19 budget. BFRF focuses on key agencies such as the National Institutes of Health; the National Science Foundation; NASA; and the Departments of Agriculture, Defense, Energy, and Homeland Security.
Among the BFRF Coalition members who participated in the D.C. fly-in were representatives from the Greater Boston Chamber of Commerce (MA), the Metro Atlanta Chamber of Commerce (GA), the Colorado Business Roundtable (CO), the Chamber of Business & Industry of Centre County (PA), the Dayton Development Coalition (OH), the MPLS Regional Chamber (MN), the Brooklyn Chamber of Commerce (NY), the Chamber of Commerce for Greater Philadelphia (PA), the Iowa City Area Chamber of Commerce (IA), and the Greater Kansas City Chamber of Commerce (MO, KS).
Read BFRF's Policy Brief: The Business Case for Federal Research Funding