TechAmerica Director and TCS Senior VP and CFO Tom Brandt Asks Congress to Adopt New National Innovation Strategy
WASHINGTON, DC, Mar 30, 2012 --TechAmerica board member and TeleCommunication Systems Inc. (TCS) (NASDAQ: TSYS) Senior Vice President and Chief Financial Officer Tom Brandt testified on March 27th before the House Science, Space and Technology Committee's Subcommittee on Technology and Innovation, urging Congress to enhance U.S. competitiveness in the innovation economy by advancing a new national technology vision and strategy as outlined in TechAmerica's "Technology Roadmap."
"The United States has harnessed innovation to power economic growth, raise standards of living and enhance the quality of our standard of living," testified Brandt. "The federal government has played an indispensable role in this success through innovation-friendly policies and incentives. Yet the bar continues to rise, as many foreign governments have begun to emulate our success and seek to surpass it. Their successes mean that we no longer hold a monopoly on innovation and its benefits. Standing pat means falling behind."
Brandt brings a valuable perspective to the debate as CFO of TCS for 15 years and as a member of TechAmerica's board of directors since the formation of TechAmerica in 2009. Based in Annapolis, Maryland, TCS provides secure technology to network operators and government agencies and employs about 1,500 people.
"On average, each technology job supports three jobs in other sectors of the economy," continued Brandt in his testimony. "For the U.S. to maintain its competitive advantage and economic leadership, we must continue to aggressively promote a public policy agenda that rewards risk takers and embraces innovation at a national level. Access to capital, strong basic research, the best and brightest minds and an infrastructure that supports the entrepreneur, are key elements that have allowed the U.S. to thrive on the basis of innovation."
During his testimony, Brandt outlined areas of critical importance, including the development of a national technology vision and strategy. He voiced TechAmerica's support for key pieces of legislation, including the Startup Act, JOBS Act, and the investments in research proposed in President Obama's FY 2013 budget. He also spoke to the importance of advancing the Trans-Pacific Partnership.
Brandt stressed that Congress should take action on several core policy priorities that would underpin a new national technology vision and strategy:
- A Tax Code to Help U.S. Companies be Globally Competitive
Many nations have adjusted their tax codes to incentivize
innovation, attract investment, and enhance the competitiveness of
companies within their borders. Yet, in just days, the United States
will lead the world with the highest corporate tax rate when Japan
lowers its corporate tax rate. We need to change.
- A Permanent and Strengthened R&D Credit
Since the R&D tax credit is only available for certain qualified
research performed in the United States, it is really a U.S. jobs
provision, since more than 70 percent of the benefits of the credit
are attributable to the wages and salaries of workers performing
research in the United States. The enactment of a strengthened and
permanent credit will serve to both maintain and create new
high-paying, high-skilled research jobs in the United States.
- Federal Investment in Basic Research
The federal government also has a critical role to play in the area
of basic research. It is from this pipeline of scientific advances in
fields such as information technology, life sciences and now, clean
technology, that the technology industry has historically drawn many
- Refinement of U.S. Intellectual Property Law
As the owner of over 200 issued patents worldwide and more than 300
pending applications, TCS supports a strong intellectual property
system, and it welcomed the September 2011 passage of the Leahy-Smith
America Invents Act (AIA) as a watershed achievement in advancing the
U.S. intellectual property system.
- A Highly Skilled Work Force
In addition to supporting the research, government must also support
the entrepreneurial and technological talent that brings this research
to life. As the United States is making it more difficult for foreign
scientists and entrepreneurs to work in our country, India, China and
other countries are welcoming these bright minds to their shores.
Unless we significantly change immigration policy for highly skilled
workers, we risk losing the brightest talent to our global
- Investment in America's Small Innovative Start Up Companies
TCS' founder, chairman and CEO, Maurice B. Tose, started the
company with his wife and a childhood friend in 1987, and now the
company employs more than 1,500 people. According to analysis
conducted by the Ewing Marion Kauffman Foundation, companies less than
five years old accounted for nearly all net job creation in the United
States between 1980 and 2005. New firms create on average
approximately 3 million jobs each year. Encouraging early-stage
investment and growth in these fast-growing, entrepreneurial start-up
businesses is one of the best ways Congress can help foster an
environment to create new jobs.
- Providing Greater Market Access for U.S. Technology Businesses
The U.S. high-tech industry and the 5.9 million workers that it
employs rely on international trade and investment for continued
growth, innovation, and job creation. Engaging in international trade
buoys GDP growth, enhances productivity, and boosts the ability of
small businesses to innovate and create good, U.S.-based jobs.
Brandt's full testimony can be found here.
Representative Ben Quayle (R-AZ), Chairman of the Subcommittee on Technology and Innovation, submitted the TechAmerica "Technology Roadmap" to the Subcommittee's official hearing record during his opening remarks.
TechAmerica is the leading voice for the U.S. technology industry -- the driving force behind productivity growth and jobs creation in the United States and the foundation of the global innovation economy. Representing approximately 1,000 member companies of all sizes from the public and commercial sectors of the economy, it is the industry's largest advocacy organization and is dedicated to helping members' top and bottom lines. TechAmerica is also the technology industry's only grassroots-to-global advocacy network, with offices in state capitals around the United States, Washington, D.C., Europe (Brussels) and Asia (Beijing). Learn more about TechAmerica at www.techamerica.org.
About TeleCommunication Systems, Inc.
TeleCommunication Systems, Inc. (TCS) (NASDAQ: TSYS) is a world leader in highly reliable and secure mobile communication technology. TCS infrastructure forms the foundation for market leading solutions in E9-1-1, text messaging, commercial location and deployable wireless communications. TCS is at the forefront of new mobile cloud computing services, providing wireless applications for navigation, hyper-local search, asset tracking, social applications and telematics. Millions of consumers around the world use TCS wireless apps as a fundamental part of their daily lives. Government agencies utilize TCS' cyber security expertise, professional services, and highly secure deployable satellite solutions for mission-critical communications. Headquartered in Annapolis, MD, TCS maintains technical, service and sales offices around the world. To learn more about emerging and innovative wireless technologies, visit www.telecomsys.com.
SOURCE: TeleCommunication Systems, Inc.