By Justin Field

The House is expected to vote on the bipartisan infrastructure package this week. When you think of infrastructure you don’t normally think about technology, but this bill is more than just roads and bridges. It is squarely focused on modernizing our infrastructure through integration of frontier technology. The legislation includes dozens of programs that seek to incorporate technology into a range of infrastructure-related systems, processes, and facilities, and reshore advanced technology manufacturing. It shows a clear intent by Congress to accelerate American economic growth and opportunity by harnessing the power of innovation to address significant societal issues.

Below is an overview of technology’s role in the bipartisan infrastructure framework. If successful, the bill could generate both a greater supply of new technologies that address various societal priorities and more significant demand for those technologies from government and other public service entities.

We will work through the process to identify and target any issues that may unintentionally exclude startups and growth companies. Should this bill pass into law, various federal agencies will be responsible for implementation, including writing the rules that will stand up the programs. To achieve the objectives of the legislation, program rules and procurement processes must emphasize the most promising and best technologies. They must be clear and timely to fit with commercial practices and provide a level playing field for technologies developed with equity financing.

The bipartisan group of policymakers who passed this bill should be applauded for their efforts and vision of a modernized American infrastructure network that enhances productivity and reduces carbon emissions. We look forward to facilitating discussions between policymakers, NVCA members, and their portfolio companies to support these efforts. We know the highest quality technology necessary to accomplish these goals will be developed by innovative startups backed by venture capital. Our goal will be to ensure open access to all technology companies for these programs. This is an exciting opportunity to bring public and private sectors together to move our country forward, and we are prepared to do our part to make it a success!

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