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Rebecca Bagley, President & CEO, Nortech, speaks about the COMPETES report transcript

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I am Rebecca Bagley, President and CEO of NorTech, a regional nonprofit technology- based economic development organization serving 21 counties in Northeast Ohio. It's been a pleasure to serve on the Department of Commerce Innovation Advisory Board. Innovation and competitiveness are critical to the success of our nation and we need a robust strategy to keep the United States globally competitive in the 21st century.

There are three significant opportunities we must focus on to ensure a sustainable and secure future for our country.

First, the staying power of American competitiveness will depend on the viability and sustainability of regions as "economic drivers". Developing strong regional economies will make our national economy stronger.

Second, we need to focus on growing specific sectors of our economy, and look at the intersections of research and commercialization, especially in areas where we can manufacture products in the United States.

Third, we should encourage the federal government to look at some of the existing federal funding silos and consider a comprehensive plan to streamline federal programs. Doing so would help regions access federal funding more efficiently and effectively, while also allowing them to be more competitive.

We look forward to participating in the next phase of this challenging process to identify action items and a plan to implement the report's recommendations. Armed with this information, I am confident Congress will act in the best interest of America to restore our position as a global innovation leader.