U.S. Senator Chris Coons of Delaware

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  • Delaware company demonstrates value of federally funded scientific research

    Delaware’s ET International, Inc. was among 100 companies profiled in a new report released today by the Science Coalition – a nonprofit, nonpartisan organization of more than 50 of the nation’s leading public and private research universities, including the University of Delaware. The report, titled, “Sparking Economic Growth 2.0: Companies Created from Federally Funded University Research, Fueling Innovation and Economic Growth” highlights companies that trace their roots to federally funded university research. The companies in the report were self-selected by the member universities of the Science Coalition and are illustrative of how federal research can spur the creation of companies that bring innovations to market, create jobs, and contribute to economic growth.

    ET International, Inc. (ETI) was founded in 2000 by Dr.Guang Rong Gao, a distinguished professor in computer and electrical engineering at the University of Delaware. The company originated in the university’s scientific labs and is now a leading provider of system software for advanced many-core computing systems ranging from supercomputers for highly scientific research to high-performance portable devices for smart phones. In a statement to the Science Coalition, the company noted that “Federally supported research completed at the University of Delaware and ETI” by Dr. Gao “allowed his deep-rooted belief in fundamental dataflow principles technologies to be successfully explored, designed and implemented…”

    Indeed, ETI’s first phase of growth generated over $22 million in investments from the industry’s most renowned High Performance Computing organizations including The Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency, the Department of Defense, the Department of Energy, IBM, Intel, Cray, and Samsung. ETI’s software solutions increase performance, computing power, and efficiency to allow users to fully realize the power of many-core architectures. Built on a decade of highly complex research, ETI currently provides software, applications and custom engineering services for the energy, defense, semiconductor, digital media, and financial markets.

    During a time when federal funding for R&D has been on the decline, with funding levels in 2013 at historic lows, ETI and the other companies highlighted in the report show the high return on investment yielded by federal funding of basic scientific research. Senator Coons is committed to ensuring that our nation continues to support innovative research and companies like ETI that create jobs and keep America on the cutting edge of technological innovation. 

  • Senator Coons Designates American Technological Innovation Day

    A bipartisan resolution sponsored by Senator Coons declaring October 29, 2013 to be “National Technological Innovation Day” was adopted by the Senate Monday. The declaration recognizes the important role of technological innovation in job creation and the U.S. economy, and was timed to celebrate the anniversary of ARPANET, the Internet’s precursor, created on October 29, 1969. The resolution was led by Senator Coons and co-sponsored by a bipartisan group of senators, including Senators Mark Kirk (R-Ill.), Martin Heinrich (D-N.M.), Jerry Moran (R-Kan.), and Johnny Isakson (R-Ga).

    “America has produced some of the world’s most transformative technological innovations that have helped our economy prosper while advancing societies across the globe,” Senator Coons said. “I hope that National Technological Innovation Day will encourage Americans across the country to pause to appreciate the great work of those who came before, and rise to the challenge of becoming the next generation of inspirational American thinkers and inventors.”

    A significant portion of our economy’s growth can be traced to new innovations. Since our nation’s founding, American innovators have produced the light bulb, the polio vaccine, the transistor (the main component of a computer chip), communications satellites, Global Positioning System, and the Internet, to name just a few. National Technological Innovation Day recognizes the role of America’s innovative spirit in individuals who have started successful companies and pushed the frontiers of science in the lab. More than one-third of Nobel prizes awarded, 347 in total, have gone to American citizens, reflecting the domestic culture of achievement we have created.

    The resolution designating National Technological Innovation Day calls on individuals to observe the day by participating in activities that celebrate the history of innovation in the US, such as educational events and exploration of how modern devices work. It also encourages American youth to continue to enhance the future by pursuing invention and entrepreneurship.

    Tags:
    Economy
    Education
    Entrepreneurs
    Innovation
    Science
    STEM
    Technology
  • University of Delaware awarded $3 million energy innovation research grant

    Senator Coons is proud to announce that the University of Delaware (UD) has been awarded a $3 million research grant by the U.S. Department of Energy’s Advanced Research Projects Agency-Energy (ARPA-E) to help produce technologies than can convert natural gas into liquid fuels for transportation uses. The award was granted as part of a $34 million ARPA-E project called Reducing Emissions using Methanotrophic Organisms for Transportation Energy, or REMOTE, focused on gas to liquid transformations. As one of Delaware’s leading research organizations, UD aims to engineer a synthetic organism capable of converting waste gases from industry and electricity production into a liquid fuel capable of powering transportation, among other practical uses.

    “Our nation’s vast supply of waste gases represents a significant untapped resource with the potential to further U.S. energy independence and reduce the strain on our environment,” Senator Coons said. “I am thrilled that the University of Delaware is leading the way on this groundbreaking research, and I thank ARPA-E for their continued support of innovative energy projects in Delaware.”

    Over the past few years, funding from ARPA-E has helped to keep Delaware on the cutting edge of the advancing clean energy economy, and Chris has been leading the effort in the Senate to ensure that ARPA-E is able to continue to invest in America’s innovative new technologies.

    Earlier this year, ARPA-E awarded UD researchers $790,000 to focus on high voltage flow batteries, and in 2010, the university received a $4.4 million grant to develop a new generation of high-energy magnets used to operate hybrid electric vehicles, wind turbines, and other high-performance electric machines. DuPont also received an $8.9 million ARPA-E grant to develop a commercially viable process for the production of an advanced bio-fuel from seaweed.

    Created in 2007 as part of the America COMPETES Act, ARPA-E is a federal agency designed to support innovative research into energy technologies and bring those technologies to the marketplace for the betterment of society. The agency was modeled after the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency, a parallel institution focusing on military research that helped produce the Internet and GPS technology. By channeling research funds toward select projects, ARPA-E helps to cultivate groundbreaking energy technologies that would otherwise be overlooked by the private sector and bridge the gap between basic energy research and social innovation.

  • What We’re Reading: President unveils brain mapping project

    Flag for What We're Reading

    The News Journal ran a story Tuesday covering President Obama’s announcement of a new investment in scientific research, aimed at mapping the human brain. This project could unlock cures for diseases like epilepsy, autism and Alzheimer’s.

    Senator Coons is a strong supporter of scientific research, and believes we must invest in basic and applied science in order to keep our economy competitive and drive innovation forward.

    The “BRAIN Initiative” – the acronym stands for “Brain Research through Advancing Innovative Neurotechnologies” – will look into ways people think, learn and remember, Obama said.

    Its goal is developing new technologies that can record the activities of individual cells and neurons within the brain.

    Obama cast the brain project as an example of how scientific research can generate economic growth.


    Click here to read the full story on the News Journal's website.

    Tags:
    Innovation
    Research
    Science
    What We're Reading
  • SOTU Analysis: Leading the way in energy innovation

    In this series of blog posts, Senator Coons’ legislative staff shares their analysis of the President’s State of the Union address with Delawareans.

    State of the Union

    In his State of the Union Address, President Obama emphasized the importance of scientific research and development, praising innovation and declaring that “we need to invest in the best ideas.” Senator Coons is a passionate believer in the importance of basic and applied science and is a strong supporter of innovative products being developed in Delaware.

    President Obama called attention to innovative 3D printing that “has the potential to revolutionize the way we make almost everything.” In Delaware, the revolution has already begun. At the Nemours/Alfred I. duPont Hospital for Children, scientists such as Tariq Rahman and Whitney Sample have used 3D printing to create customizable assistive devices to help children overcome mobility challenges. These cutting edge innovations gave five-year-old Emma Lavelle plastic appendages that allowed her to play and hug her mother for the first time.

    Last night, President Obama called for “a level of research and development not seen since the height of the Space Race.” He specified that today, no area holds more promise than investments in American energy. Delaware is once again leading the way, with energy research that is truly paradigm-shifting.

    The University of Delaware was named as an Energy Frontier Research Center by the U.S. Department of Energy. An award of more than $17 million dollars will be used to find more efficient ways to convert complex molecules from biomass into chemicals and fuels. UD is also at work fueling innovation in partnership with Advanced Research Projects Agency-Energy (ARPA-E) and the Catalysis Center for Energy Innovation with transformational projects like super-strong magnets and hydrogen-fuel cells.  As a member of the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee and a leading champion of ARPA-E, Chris will continue to support these game-changing initiatives.    

    During a recent visit to the University of Delaware’s STAR campus, Chris test-drove a car built by a joint project between the UD and NRG Energy. The car allows rechargeable battery-operated vehicles to also serve as a source of power to the electrical grid. With scientists such as UD professor Willett Kempton leading the way, Delaware at the forefront of realizing the President’s vision. 

    Tags:
    ARPA-E
    Energy
    Innovation
    Research
    Science
    State of the Union
    University of Delaware
  • Senator Coons helps kick off entrepreneurship program

    Horn

    Last week, Senator Coons took part in a launch celebration unveiling the new Horn Program in Entrepreneurship at UD.

    Made possible by a generous gift from Charles and Patricia Horn, this program will encourage students to pursue the kind of entrepreneurial ideas that will power Delaware’s economy for years to come.

    The Horn program will enhance and expand entrepreneurial studies at UD and be made up of a variety of initiatives like the Venture Development Center, a student business incubator, Hen Hatch, UD’s premier startup funding competition and an annual President’s Forum on Innovation and Entrepreneurship. It will also support new curricular offerings at both the undergraduate and graduate levels.

    Chris believes that supporting our innovators and entrepreneurs is critical to our economic recovery. 

    To read more about his work to create jobs and promote American economic competitiveness, click here.

    Tags:
    Competitiveness
    Delaware
    Economy
    Entrepreneurs
    Innovation
    Jobs
    Senate
  • Senator Coons tours Dentsply Caulk plant

    Senator Coons visits Dentsply Caulk in Milfrod

    MILFORD – Senator Coons visited the Dentsply Caulk plant in Milford on Tuesday to hear about how the company has kept growing over its 135 years in business. The company is a division of Dentsply International, the world’s largest professional dental products manufacturer.

    In 2008, thanks in part to the Delaware Economic Development Office, Dentsply underwent an $8.3 million expansion to accommodate pharmaceutical and infection control manufacturing processes, and added 14-thousand square feet of processing spaces. In 2001, they spent $11 million to modernize the plant.  The Milford facility also went through significant expansions in the 1990s and 1980s.

    “Dentsply Caulk has become a leader in the professional dental product industry and serves as an example of how hard work, innovation and investment in the community can propel a company forward,” Chris said. “Their team has made huge strides since coming to Delaware and is improving dental equipment and products to better serve doctors and patients around the globe.”

    Chris spent much of his visit learning about the low volume/high value products that Dentsply manufactures. He also learned much more about the different manufacturing techniques and unique materials used by Dentsply.

    Dentsply International has facilities in 22 nations on six continents, manufacturing and distributing products in 120 countries under well-known industry brand names. Dentsply Caulk has made recent break through innovations in composite resins, for instance Prime & Bond® NT™ single component bonding agent, Aquasil Ultra Smart Wetting® impression materials and Esthet•X® HD Micro Matrix Restorative.

    Dentsply Caulk has three sites in Milford, totaling over 325k sq. ft., with more than 400 associates. 

    Tags:
    Delaware Economic Development Office
    Innovation
    Manufacturing
  • Supporting innovation to fuel job creation

    Senator Coons' Monthly column

    The most important responsibility I have as your senator is to support job creation. Our economy is starting to recover, but there are still far too many Delawareans out of work. That is why we are continuing to host job fairs across the state, connecting job seekers with employers ready to hire, and working to help Delaware businesses access the capital they need to grow and create new jobs.

    One of the keys to fueling American economic growth and ensuring we remain competitive in the global economy is putting in place policies that support and sustain innovation. American ingenuity has always been at the core of our economic success. From inventing the light bulb to perfecting the search engine, we have never lacked good ideas. The challenges of the global economy may be new, but America’s advantage – our entrepreneurs and innovators – remains the same. We just have to support their work so they can continue to grow and create jobs.

    Over the last few months, I’ve partnered with Republicans and Democrats alike to introduce legislation that will support our most innovative companies – the ones with the highest job-creation potential.

    Watching cable news, it would be easy to think the Senate is stuck in partisan gridlock, and to an extent, that is true. Yet there are also decent people of both parties who want to get things done, especially when it comes to our economy. To those of us in Delaware, that is the rule, rather than the exception, but unfortunately, Washington doesn’t always work the same way.

    That is why I was so glad to find partners like Senator Marco Rubio from Florida and Senator Jerry Moran from Kansas. They are both conservative Republicans, but I’ve worked with them and Senator Mark Warner, a Democrat from Virginia, on a series of job-creation proposals we bundled together in a bill called the Startup Act 2.0.

    The Startup Act 2.0 is designed to promote innovation and jumpstart the economy through the creation and growth of new businesses and jobs. It is based on research showing that for almost 30 years, companies less than five years old have created almost all the net new jobs in America – at an average of about three million new jobs a year. So we pulled together ideas that help bring university research from the lab to the marketplace, ideas that encourage investments in new startup companies and more in the hopes of creating an environment where entrepreneurs can succeed.

    Our bill contains an array of job-creating measures for small businesses, such as exempting capital gains taxes on investments in startups, which the independent Kauffman Foundation tells us would unlock $7.5 billion of new investment. It also supports innovative small businesses with an expanded research and development tax credit, an idea Senator Rubio and I introduced together last fall as part of our bipartisan AGREE Act and something I will continue fighting to pass because it is critical for Delaware small business.

    With the right resources, American products can be manufactured in Delaware and remain competitive in the global marketplace. It is happening every day across our state, at companies of all sizes, including Miller Metal in Bridgeville, a local shop that is going head-to-head with Chinese metal fabricators – and winning.

    We have to continue to support this kind of entrepreneurship and innovation in all sectors of our economy, including in the energy sector. There is going to be a clean energy economy in the years ahead, the only question is whether American businesses, families and workers will be at the center or the periphery. If we want to stay competitive in the race for homegrown, affordable, renewable sources of energy, we have to make sure our financial innovation keeps up with our technological innovation.

    That is why this spring, I introduced bipartisan legislation to level the playing field and make a tax credit that has long supported oil and gas projects available to renewable energy projects like wind, solar and biofuels. The bill I wrote with Senator Moran, the Master Limited Partnership Parity Act, could bring significant capital off the sidelines to give clean energy innovators and projects the critical private sector support they need to get their product to the marketplace.

    The bottom line is that America’s researchers, business leaders, innovators and entrepreneurs are already working to help create jobs and ensure American competitiveness in the global economy. We just have to support and sustain their hard work, and we cannot take the rest of the year off just because there’s an election coming up. Even in this difficult, partisan atmosphere, we have to find ways to work together and get things done. Innovation will drive American economic competitiveness for generations to come, and our job is to help our innovators and entrepreneurs do their jobs.

    Tags:
    Delaware
    Economy
    Entrepreneurs
    Innovation
    Jobs
    Monthly Column
  • Senator Coons, two Delaware business leaders participate in roundtable discussion on job creation

    WASHINGTON –Senator Coons participated in a roundtable discussion for ways of duplicating the success of innovative, job-creating American businesses in the Capitol on Wednesday. The meeting was hosted by the Senate Democratic Steering and Outreach Committee and featured representatives from more than 15 companies, including Patrick Owens, president of ILC Dover, and Marty Miller, CEO of Miller Metal in Bridgeville.

    “As our nation lifts itself out of this recession, we should turn for guidance to companies that are strengthening our economy and creating jobs,” Chris said. “These past few years have really taken its toll on Delaware’s economy with the closing of several key businesses around the state; however, there are several small companies in Delaware that have been successful. I was honored to invite Patrick Owens and Marty Miller to join today’s meeting and appreciate their input on how the federal government can help businesses grow. I look forward to keeping an open line of communication with them and other Delaware businesses leaders so we can work in partnership to strengthen our state’s economy and get more Delawareans back to work.”

    Mr. Miller said during the meeting that thanks to a Small Business Administration loan and assistance from the Manufacturing Extension Partnership (MEP), Miller Metal was able to purchase a laser cutter: the laser and the MEP have helped Miller Metal increase its workforce from 30 employees to 75.

    The Senator has made job creation a top priority for his time in the Senate. Most recently, he joined on as an original cosponsored of the Bring Jobs Home Act which would end taxpayer subsidies to companies that ship jobs overseas and incentivizes companies to bring jobs back to the United States.    

    In an effort at bipartisanship, in May, he joined with U.S. Senators Marco Rubio (R-Fla.), Mark R. Warner (D-Va.), and Jerry Moran (R-Kan.) in introducing the Startup Act 2.0, which is designed to promote innovation and jumpstart the economy through the creation and growth of new businesses and jobs.

    Tags:
    Businesses
    Innovation
    Jobs
    Manufacturing
  • House companion to Startup Act 2.0 introduced

    This week, members of the U.S. House introduced a bipartisan companion to the Startup Act 2.0, which was introduced in the Senate by Senator Coons, along with Senators Moran, Rubio and Warner.

    The House companion to the Startup Act 2.0, introduced by Reps. Michael Grimm (R-NY) and Loretta Sanchez (D-CA), shows continued strong, bipartisan momentum for this important legislation to jump-start our economy and help businesses grow and create jobs.

    “Startup 2.0 is about creating American jobs,” Rep. Grimm said in a press release. “Too often we educate the world’s best and brightest in STEM fields, only to send them back to countries like India and China to open businesses and compete against us. This bill will keep top talent here in the U.S. to build businesses that hire Americans, and drive U.S. innovation and competitiveness.”

    “As our economy continues to recover, we must further enable our entrepreneurs to grow and to create jobs,” Rep. Sanchez said in a press release.  “Startup 2.0 legislation is a natural follow-up to our efforts to jumpstart the economy and it is exactly the kind of legislation the United States needs to keep up with India, China and the rest of the global market.”

    Senator Coons joined his colleagues on the Senate floor for a colloquy on the Startup Act 2.0 earlier this week. Click here to watch.

    Tags:
    Competitiveness
    Economy
    Entrepreneurs
    Innovation
    Jobs
    Startup Act 2.0
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