Go back

US news roundup: 29 April to 5 May


This week: data storage R&D strategy, Nasa funds small businesses, and funds for battery manufacturing

In depth: Republican members of the House and Senate have written to the White House to reiterate calls for new leadership of the Office of Science and Technology Policy.

Full story: Republican concerns grow over White House science advisers

Also this week from Research Professional News

Industry calls for EU-US cooperation on tech research—Business groups urge closer regulatory alignment for emerging technologies and coordination against “discriminatory” Chinese policies

Here is the rest of the US news this week… 

R&D strategy proposed for data storage tech

Republicans have tabled proposals for a US R&D strategy for the data storage technology known as distributed ledgers. Such technologies, including blockchain, have come to prominence by supporting cryptocurrencies, but Cynthia Lummis, who sits on the Senate science committee, emphasised that they “have a wide range of applications, from supply chain management to healthcare records”. Legislation proposed by Lummis and colleagues would require the US government to develop a strategy for and fund research on distributed ledgers.

Nasa funds small tech businesses

Nasa has awarded nearly $95 million to 110 small businesses under an annual scheme for supporting technology development. The projects will support space exploration, such as technology that could provide solar power to astronauts on the moon, as well as Earth-based applications, such as improving satellite internet services. Deputy administrator Pam Melroy said finding imaginative small businesses was “crucial” for Nasa.

$3 billion for US battery manufacturing

The US Department of Energy has announced over $3 billion for supporting battery manufacturing. An additional $60 million is also earmarked for reusing batteries from electric vehicles and recycling materials back into the supply chain. Energy secretary Jennifer Granholm said the funding would “give our domestic supply chain the jolt it needs to become more secure and less reliant on other nations”.