From The CEO

Jennifer Buss, PhD


Technology is integral to nearly every aspect of our lives—at work, in the car, and at home. Everywhere we go, we are interacting with engineered materials, digital communications, and other high-end technology and microelectronics—all powered by lithium-ion batteries. We need look no further than the recent CHIPS and Science Act to see how important these technologies are to our lives and our national security.

The reach of these technologies is seemingly infinite in our daily lives, but for society, this extends even further. The core of our infrastructure—water, utilities, the financial sector, and our medical community, for example—relies on technology. While these may seem like disparate facets of life and society, they all, along with our iPhones, smart appliances, cars, computers, and TVs, etc. rely on the same underlying technological capabilities and supply lines. In short, these technologies and their supply chains are what make modern life both modern and livable.

The ideas, raw materials, and even finished goods for modern technologies come from all around the globe. The United States is not alone, nor is it self-reliant, in the world of high technology, and it does not need to be. What is needed are strategies and mechanisms to ensure that the country retains access to essential goods and the innovative minds that bring them forward. The US has a strong network of allies and partners who share our interests. This network is a significant strategic advantage and should be leveraged to reduce US and our allies’ dependence on adversarial supply chains.

This issue of STEPS highlights the Potomac Institute’s mission to provide actionable insights for policymakers to ensure our nation continues to thrive in the science and technology fields. In this issue, our authors address some of our nation’s challenges in retaining access to critical minerals and hardware components. Also considered are the emerging difficulties related to promoting the American message around the world, including the lack of a shared vision for our national future. Additionally, the authors examine the education of the next generation of leaders in science. These are not small obstacles for our nation, but the authors offer avenues for government and the commercial sector to work together to help develop meaningful solutions for the future.

The recent passage of the CHIPS and Science Act represents a major step in addressing some of the critical dependences the United States has in the microelectronics and semiconductor supply chain. Potomac Institute congratulates Congress and the Administration for this achievement, but as the final article in this issue notes, “now comes the hard work.” I hope that the discussions in this issue of STEPS spark further thought in these areas and contribute to continued wise policy decisions and investments that benefit our nation.

Dr. Jennifer Buss

Chief Executive Officer, Potomac Institute

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