The U.S. Senate has passed the U.S. Innovation and Competition Act (S. 1260), which significantly increases investment in research and development, education and training, supply chain security and the broader U.S. innovation ecosystem.

The U.S. Innovation and Competition Act — formerly the Endless Frontier Act — was introduced by Senate Majority Leader Schumer (D-N.Y.) and Sen. Todd Young (R-Ind.). The bill aims to strengthen U.S. leadership in critical technologies through research in key focus areas including artificial intelligence (AI), machine learning, high-performance computing, advanced computer hardware and software and robotics. Additionally, prior to passing in the Senate, the bill was amended to include “data storage, data management, distributed ledger technologies and cybersecurity, including biometrics” as key focus areas, an addition supported by SIA and proposed by Sens. Roy Blunt (R-Mo.), Brian Schatz (D-Hawaii) and Deb Fischer (R-Neb.).

“The U.S. Innovation and Competition Act promotes valuable investment in federal R&D in areas like biometrics, AI and machine learning — emerging technologies that have a robust array of applications in security and life safety,” said Security Industry Association CEO Don Erickson. “SIA has long supported U.S. and allied leadership in innovation and applauds Sens. Schumer and Young for their bipartisan leadership on this beneficial legislation.”

SIA recently sent a letter to President Biden and Vice President Harris urging the administration and Congress to consider policies that enable American leadership in developing biometric technologies; issued policy principles that guide the commercial sector, government agencies and law enforcement on how to use facial recognition in a responsible and ethical manner; released comprehensive public polling on  support of facial recognition use across specific applications; and published a list of successful uses of the technology.