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Election: Innovation & Competitiveness

Donald Trump

NASA: Trump is interested in scientific discovery, especially when it comes to NASA and private sector space travel. However, he has not called for increased funding because he believes we have “bigger problems,” including ISIS and the nation’s collapsing infrastructure, which he believes needs to be addressed first. He is focused on funding direct solutions to current problems, including “fix[ing] our potholes,” and will use extra funds to support science since “we don't exactly have a lot of money."
H-1B visas: According to his campaign position on immigration reform, Trump intends to increase the prevailing wage for workers on H-1B visas in order to make it more expensive to hire specialists (mostly in STEM fields) from outside the country. However, in August of 2015 he also tweeted that “I want talented people to come into this country--to work hard and to become citizens. Silicon Valley needs engineers, etc.”

2016 Republican Party Platform

​"The public-private partnerships between NASA, the Department of Defense, and commercial companies have given us technological progress that has reduced the cost of accessing space and extended America’s space leadership in the commercial, civil, and national security spheres. [...] We must sustain our preeminence in space by launching more scientific missions, guaranteeing unfettered access, and ensuring that our space-related industries remain a source of scientific leadership and education."

Hillary Clinton

Clinton's technology and innovation plan is here.
Economy: Clinton’s campaign positions involve investing in clean energy, scientific, and medical research to create jobs and strengthen the economy, and increasing funding for the National Institutes of Health and the National Science Foundation.
Internet: Clinton supports the FCC attempts at strong net neutrality. She plans to connect every household in America to affordable, high-speed internet by 2020, connect more public places to the internet and enable them to offer free WiFi to the public, and help America set up 5G and next-generation systems that can provide faster internet speeds and help advance the Internet of Things, a proposed system of electronically connecting physical objects like cars and buildings.
Clinton plans to name a Chief Innovation Advisor who will help reduce federal regulatory barriers to developing new products.
She would create a “Model Digital Communities” Grant Program to give cities, regions, and states incentives to establish lower cost, high quality connectivity for homes, businesses, and public spaces.
NASA: Speaking in Dover, New Hampshire, Clinton praised NASA and stated her support for planetary discovery. She emphasized the benefits of government-funded scientific research and innovation, stating, "I would like to see us continue to explore space. [...] There's just a lot for us to keep learning. I think it's a good investment. So on my list of things that I want our country to invest in—in terms of research and innovation and science, basic science, exploring space, exploring our oceans, exploring our genome—we're at the brink of all kinds of new information. Let's not back off now."
"I don't have an objection to partnering with commercial enterprises," Clinton continued. "But I just think they are more in the applied-science arena, not in the discovery and research arena that I think only the government can support."
Diversity: Clinton has called for an increase in women studying in STEM fields. “We must focus on how we can help women and girls break through ceilings that hold them back,” Clinton said, reports the Business Journal. “It’s the unfinished business of the 20th century.”
Visa reform: Clinton would add a green card to STEM masters and PhDs from accredited institutions, and support visas that let top foreign entrepreneurs travel to the U.S. to create companies and jobs for American workers.
Research funding, policy, and education: Clinton has stated she "would increase funding for scientific research at agencies like the National Institutes of Health (NIH) and the National Science Foundation."" She advocated for "rapidly" increasing NIH spending on Alzheimer’s disease to $2 billion per year with the goal of finding a cure potentially by 2025. She would also support larger efforts for funding research into autism and launch a "first-ever adult autism prevalence study."
Clinton plans to augment entrepreneurship and innovation clusters like Silicon Valley across the nation by investing in incubators and accelerators, expanding access to capital for start-ups, and advance technology transfer to bring ideas to market.
In addition to the National Science Foundation, she would invest in science and technology R&D by increasing the R&D budgets of agencies like DARPA and the Department of Energy, so the U.S. can solve big challenges, like making sure America continues to lead the world in high performance computing, machine learning, and green energy.
Clinton would "create a competitive grant program to support state and regional public-private partnerships that develop methods to tailor job training opportunities to match labor demands in technology-driven industries.” She would also invest $20 billion in youth jobs and paths for people from disadvantaged communities to enter the tech workforce through models like “linked learning, P-Tech, apprenticeships, and Career Academies."
Small business: Clinton proposes to mentor/train 50,000 entrepreneurs in underserved areas. She wants to double the SSBCI (small business credit initiative). She proposes to forgive up to $17,500 of loans to young entrepreneurs who start their own business.

2016 Democratic Party Platform

Democrats support NASA and promise to work with the international scientific community to launch new missions to space.