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Friday, December 8th, 2023

Bill targets research, intellectual property protections

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Sens. Tom Carper (D-DE) and Chris Coons (D-DE) joined 13 colleagues last week to introduce legislation designed to prevent foreign governments from stealing research and intellectual property domestically developed at colleges and universities.

The Safeguarding American Innovation Act gives the Department of Education increased authority to enforce foreign gift reporting rules while lowering the reporting threshold to increase transparency and prevent foreign interference on campuses here.

“The Safeguarding American Innovation Act aims to protect taxpayer-funded research from foreign governments working to steal it, hold those acting in bad faith accountable and improve the partnerships between our researchers and their foreign partners and preserve our economic competitiveness around the world,” Carper said.

Coons said if the United States is to be successful in competition with China, the country needs to promote and protect American innovation. I am pleased to co-sponsor this legislation that will protect federally funded research and development grants and tighten loopholes within the U.S. government and make sure U.S. agencies are protected from adversaries trying to exploit our openness.”

The bill would also address the Department of Education’s lack of enforcement of foreign gift reporting at colleges and universities, which the department admitted was historically lax.