16 minutes News

16 Minutes #64: Science (and Tech), the Endless Frontier

Martin Casado and Sonal Chokshi

Posted May 25, 2021

Given recent buzz and ongoing debates around the Endless Frontiers Act — which some have described as “the most important piece of legislation no one’s heard of” — this episode is a rerun of an episode from last year, recorded after said act was initially unveiled.

The short discussion covers the broader topic and theme of funding science and innovation, and R&D in general — not just in government agencies, but corporations, and the overall landscape there as well. Notably, the name of the Endless Frontiers act was inspired by the famous memo, “Science, the Endless Frontier”, which was a report to the then U.S.-President by Vannevar Bush, Director of the Office of Scientific Research and Development in July 1945 — and that led to the creation of the independent government agency the National Science Foundation (NSF).

For quick context (without covering current discussions/ updates in the news right now) — the bipartisan proposal had proposed giving NSF over $100B over 5 years in funding.  It had also proposed rebranding the National Science Foundation into the National “Science and Technology” Foundation, which a16z general partner Martin Casado (who has worked the full spectrum from academia to research lab to startup to big company) discusses with Sonal Chokshi in this episode.  You can also find their conversation with former Stanford president John Hennessy and Marc Andreessen on the changing relationship between academia and industry at a16z.com/researchtostartup.

Original episode: