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Public Policy

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We research, develop, and advocate for public policies that contribute to the economic success of our region and generate economic opportunity for businesses and people. Our policy priorities are designed to advance Greater Boston's:

  • Global competitiveness
  • Dynamic region
  • World-class talent

Business for Federal Research Funding (BFRF)

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Business leaders from across the country are joining together to deliver one simple message: federally-funded research grows our economy. 

What is the Business for Federal Research Funding (BFRF) Coalition?

In 2004, the Greater Boston Chamber of Commerce formed a coalition of Chambers from across the country called Business for Federal Research Funding (BFRF) with the mission of advocating for increased federal research grants. Today, BFRF has more than 75 members who understand the incredible economic impact that federal research grants can have on a region and its business community: for every $1 invested in research at medical schools and teaching hospitals, $2.60 of economic activity occurs. BFRF believes that it’s time for the government to step up and support research and development the way they used to in decades past.

The coalition’s goal is to bring heightened focus to the critical impact federal research funding has on economic growth and global competitiveness. We do this through:

  • Engaging in lobbying effortswith members of Congress and the Administration;
  • Using communications to raise awareness among key business and government stakeholders; and
  • Coordinating strategy to maximize the collective impact of efforts to increase federal research funding.

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Why We Need Federal Research Funding

In 2018, National Institutes of Health (NIH) spending extramurally in the 50 states, and D.C. directly and indirectly supported 433,011 jobs nationally. However, that number is smaller than past years. For example, in 2010 NIH funding supported an estimated 487,900 jobs nationwide.

Federal research funding not only creates jobs; it stimulates billions in economic activity. In 2018, NIH grants alone supported $73.9 billion in economic activity – more than twice the $28.1 billion it distributed in grants. Twenty states experienced economic activity of $1 billion or more thanks to these grants.

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The Payoffs from Federal Research Funding

Although federal funding for research and development declined 12.5 percent in inflation-adjusted dollars between 2009 and 2019 (see above), societal challenges are demanding more and better innovations that can only be met through increased research and development.

In fact, the annual investment in federal research funding pales in comparison to annual spending on the same issues researchers are working to address. For example:

And progress on these challenges is achievable. In fact, over the past few years, federal funding has contributed to medical breakthroughs such as:

  • A bionic pancreas that can regulate blood sugar levels in diabetics
  • Gene therapy that reverses a rare form of inherited vision loss
  • Development of the first artificial kidney

Competition Abroad

Once a world leader, the U.S. economy now lags behind other countries in research spending.  According to the OECDtotal U.S. R&D spending in 2017 represented 2.8 percent of GDP, less than Israel, Germany, Japan, South Korea, and Sweden.6

In the coming year, we urge Congress to continue increasing its investments to tackle some of the country’s most difficult health challenges and scientific needs and help maintain the U.S as a world leader in science, medicine and innovation. 

BFRF Annual Washington D.C. Fly-in

Every year, BFRF conducts a fly-in to Washington D.C. The coalition spends two days attending briefings, meetings with key legislators and administration officials, and networking with peers from organizations across the country. This year’s fly-in will be on Tuesday, May 7th and Wednesday, May 8th.

If your Chamber or members are interested in participating, please contact Megan Greeley as soon as possible.

BFRF MEMBERS

Mobile Area Chamber of Commerce (AL) 

Huntsville/Madison County Chamber (AL) 

Los Angeles Area Chamber of Commerce (CA) 

San Diego Chamber of Commerce (CA) 

San Francisco Chamber of Commerce (CA) 

Pasadena Chamber of Commerce (CA) 

Silicon Valley Leadership Group (CA) 

Aurora Chamber of Commerce (CO) 

Colorado Business Roundtable (CO) 

Denver Metro Chamber of Commerce (CO) 

South Denver Metro Chamber (CO) 

Boulder Chamber of Commerce (CO) 

Fort Collins Area Chamber (CO) 

The Bridgeport Regional Business Council (CT)

The Business Council of Fairfield County (CT)

Gainesville Area Chamber of Commerce (FL) 

Greater Miami Chamber of Commerce (FL) 

Orlando Economic Partnership (FL) 

Athens Area Chamber of Commerce (GA) 

Georgia Chamber (GA) 

DeKalb Chamber of Commerce (GA) 

Metro Atlanta Chamber (GA) 

Greater Des Moines Partnership (IA) 

Iowa City Area Chamber of Commerce (IA) 

Ames Chamber of Commerce (IA) 

Cedar Rapids Metro Economic Alliance (IA) 

Chicagoland Chamber of Commerce (IL) 

Naperville Area Chamber of Commerce (IL) 

Greater Bloomington Chamber of Commerce (IN)

Indy Chamber (IN) 

Greater Topeka Chamber of Commerce (KS) 

Lawrence Chamber of Commerce (KS) 

Manhattan Area Chamber of Commerce (KS) 

Greater Lexington, KY Chamber of Commerce (KY) 

Greater Boston Chamber of Commerce (MA) 

Cambridge Chamber of Commerce (MA) 

Worcester Regional Chamber of Commerce (MA) 

New England Council (MA, RI, CT, VT, NH, ME) 

Maryland Chamber of Commerce (MD) 

Ann Arbor/Ypsilanti Regional Chamber (MI) 

Minneapolis Regional Chamber of Commerce (MN) 

Greater Kansas City Chamber of Commerce (MO) 

St. Louis Regional Chamber (MO, IL) 

Ashville Area Chamber of Commerce (NC) 

Cary Chamber of Commerce (NC) 

Charlotte Chamber of Commerce (NC) 

Chapel Hill-Carrboro Chamber of Commerce (NC) 

Fayetteville Regional Chamber (NC) 

Greater Raleigh Chamber (NC) 

Greater Winston-Salem Chamber of Commerce (NC) 

Morrisville Chamber of Commerce (NC) 

Greater Omaha Chamber of Commerce (NE) 

Midjersey Chamber of Commerce (NJ) 

Princeton Regional Chamber (NJ) 

Brooklyn Chamber of Commerce (NY) 

Capital Region Chamber (NY) 

Manhattan Chamber of Commerce (NY) 

Tompkins County Chamber of Commerce (NY) 

Columbus Chamber of Commerce (OH) 

Dayton Development Coalition (OH) 

Greater Cleveland Partnership (OH) 

Greater Oklahoma City Chamber (OK) 

Eugene Area Chamber of Commerce (OR) 

Portland Business Alliance (OR) 

Springfield Chamber of Commerce (OR) 

Chamber of Business & Industry of Centre County (PA) 

Greater Pittsburgh Chamber of Commerce (PA) 

The Chamber of Commerce for Greater Philadelphia (PA)

CEO Council for Growth (PA, NJ, DE) 

Greater Providence Chamber (RI) 

Austin Chamber of Commerce (TX) 

Lubbock Chamber of Commerce (TX) 

Salt Lake Chamber (UT) 

Dulles Regional Chamber of Commerce (VA) 

Fairfax County Chamber of Commerce (VA) 

Charlottesville Regional Chamber of Commerce (VA) 

Greater Richmond Chamber (VA) 

Northern Virginia Chamber of Commerce (VA) 

Seattle Metropolitan Chamber of Commerce (WA) 

Greater Madison Chamber of Commerce (WI) 

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