Thursday, August 16, 2007

HP Rides The Innovation Wave In Washington

WASHINGTON, D.C. - Last week, Hewlett-Packard savored some legislative good news when President Bush signed a bill boosting federal subsidies for research and education in science and math. The Palo Alto, Calif., computer giant, which in 2006 spent $3.6 billion on research and development, has been one of the louder voices calling for the U.S. government to step up its role in fostering tech innovation.

"We're very pleased with the commitment to put more money into research and to contribute math and science scholarship," says Gary Fazzino, Hewlett Packard's (nyse: HPQ) vice president for government and public affairs. "These are victories."

Now, Fazzino and HP's six-person government affairs outpost in Washington hope that momentum on innovation will carry along two other top priorities: patent reform and an extension of the research and development tax credit. While both items enjoy decent support inside the Beltway, they'll need tending to, given the prospect of a hectic autumn on Capitol Hill.

"There could be a number of landmines along the way," says David Isaacs, who runs HP's public policy efforts in Washington.

Full story at Forbes.com