U.S. Senator Chris Coons of Delaware

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  • Senator Coons convenes bipartisan roundtable on innovation

    Senator Coons, along with Senators Thune, and Wyden met with TechNet CEOs and Senior Executives to discuss digital trade, IP protection, and corporate tax reform on April 1, 2014.

    Senator Coons, along with Senators Ron Wyden (D-Ore.) and John Thune (R-S.D.), met with chief executive officers and senior executives from the nation’s leading technology, venture capital, and e-commerce, companies Tuesday to discuss key issues affecting American innovation. Executives from Bloom Energy, CISCO, Oracle, and other leading technology firms shared their perspectives on proposed trade agreements, corporate tax reform, intellectual property protection, and other policy priorities.

    “America is the world’s leading source of cutting-edge technology,” Senator Coons said. “The technology companies represented today employ nearly a million Americans and are key drivers of our innovation economy. Congress can and should support American innovators by working together to open up markets abroad, protect intellectual property, and build a competitive tax code that incentivizes innovation. I am grateful to all the industry leaders who participated in today’s conversation and look forward to continuing to work with them to promote our global competitiveness.”

    Senator Coons has established himself as a leader on innovation policy by introducing a series of bills that support research and development, and help innovative small businesses grow to create jobs. He introduced the Innovators Job Creation Act with Senator Pat Roberts (R-Kan.) earlier this year and the Startup Innovation Credit Act with Senator Mike Enzi (R-Wyo.) last January to help startups and other small companies take advantage of valuable R&D tax credits.

    He also teamed up with Senator Marco Rubio (R-Fla.) this year to introduce legislation that would modernize the United States’ national lab system to make the innovation pipeline more efficient and give labs new flexibility to partner with the private sector.

    Senator Coons was recognized as a 2014 TechVoice Champion earlier this year by CompTIA and TECNA, two technology policy groups representing thousands of U.S. technology firms, for his work in support of innovation and America’s small and medium-sized technology firms.

  • Manufacturing Update for March 2014

    Manufacturing Jobs for America monthly manufacturing update



    Hearing -- Aviation Competitiveness
    Sen. Cantwell (D-WA) held a hearing of Senate Subcommittee on Aviation Operations, Safety, and Security on March 13.  The hearing focused on challenges facing the U.S. aviation industry, and what steps the U.S. can take to maintain its leadership in the global market and create American jobs.  Sen. Cantwell called for five steps to boost U.S. competitiveness:

    1. Increase investment in STEM education and apprenticeship programs to ensure a robust supply of skilled workers;
    2. Use the WTO to challenge unfair subsidies provided by foreign governments;
    3. Continue export financing through the Export-Import Bank;
    4. Modernize the nation’s air traffic control system by implementing the NextGen satellite-based system;
    5. Invest in R&D for composite materials.

    Representatives of Aerospace Industries Association, Airlines for America, the AFL-CIO, and Boeing testified. 
    More: Cantwell press release | Hearing video 1 | Hearing video 2

    News -- Franken tours E.J. Ajax Metal Forming Solutions
    Sen. Franken recently toured E.J. Ajax Metal Forming Solutions, where he spoke with representatives from local technical colleges, local business, and HIRED, a Twin Cities provider of job skills training for disadvantaged job seekers.
    More: National Skills Coalition

    News -- Sen Coons and Rep Kelly meet with small manufacturers
    Members of the American Small Manufacturers Coalition came to Congress to meet with Sen Coons (D-DE) and Rep Kelly (R-PA) to discuss the Manufacturing Extension Partnership on March 4th and 5th.
    More: ASMC

    News -- DuPont hosts engineering events to inspire young people
    DuPont recently hosted two local events to highlight the impact engineers can have on society and encourage young people to consider the STEM professions.  During DuPont’s sponsorship of national Engineers Week, the company invited middle school students to present a model of a city they had designed during a nationwide competition called Future Cities. 
    More: News Journal

    Interview -- The importance of skills training
    Michael Tamasi, CEO of AccuRounds, recently spoke with Fox Business about what is needed to boost hiring, highlighting the importance of skills training.
    More: Fox Business

    News -- Precision Plus hosts student manufacturing day
    Mike Reader, CEO of Precision Plus in Elkhorn, WI and a member of the Precision Machined Products Association (PMPA) recently produced a student Manufacturing Day Panel at Elkhorn Area High School. Over 200 students from five area schools listened to local manufacturing companies describe the opportunities and their personal insights on local manufacturing. 2.7 million U.S. manufacturing workers are set to retire in the next 3-5 years, and there is a huge deficit in the number of young people applying for jobs in manufacturing.
    More: PMPA

    Report -- Ontario Made: Rethinking Manufacturing in the 21st Century
    A new paper by the University of Toronto examining Ontario’s manufacturing sector provides useful international comparisons for U.S. policymakers.  The authors recommend a focus on advanced manufacturing through a focus on investments in skills, R&D, equipment, and information technology.
    More: Mowat Centre

    Report -- What jobs are being offshored, and where are they going?
    A new working paper from economists at UC Berkley and MIT used new data to look at the type of jobs that are being offshored, and where those jobs are going.  The paper finds very few companies offshore their core competencies, but that large manufacturers tend to do so at a significantly higher rate than other sectors.  The majority of offshoring tends to go to locations with costs comparable to the U.S., contrary to popular perception.
    More: IRLE | The Economist 

    Report -- Why you should care about the federal budget
    A blog post from Robert Atkinson of the Information Technology & Innovation Foundation looks at the implications of the President’s Budget for American manufacturers.  The blog post finds that the budget contained positives, such as funding for NNMI, and shortcomings, such as slower growth in R&D funding.
    More: Industry Week

    Report -- Assessing U.S. corporate tax reform in an age of global competition
    A report from the Information Technology & Innovation Foundation describes the impact of the corporate income tax on the economy and analyzes the major issues involved in creating tax reform that both increases economic growth and reduces the burden of federal debt.
    More: ITIF

  • Senator Coons praises launch of Climate Data Initiative

    Senator Coons praised the President’s launch this week of a new Climate Data Initiative, part of the administration’s national strategy to combat climate change first announced by President Obama last June.

    The initiative is an effort to make climate-relevant information and resources collected by the federal government more accessible to the public. New datasets, web services, and tools related to coastal flooding and sea level rise will now be available on the new Climate.data.gov to help city planners, resource managers, farmers, hospitals, and businesses better understand and prepare for the impacts of climate change. An innovation challenge also launched this week will encourage entrepreneurs, technologists, and developers to create new tools that increase public awareness of coastal flood risks and other vulnerabilities.

     “In Delaware, we’ve already begun to see the impacts of climate change on our businesses, our infrastructure, and our local environment,” Senator Coons said. “We can’t fight climate change by denying it, but we can make our communities safer and our economy more secure by sharing valuable tools and information that will help us prepare for the changes to come. The new Climate Data Initiative will leverage the tremendous data-gathering capacity of the federal government to fuel private sector innovation and address our most pressing climate challenges. This is an important step that will help our communities take smarter, more coordinated action on climate change.”

    Read more about the White House’s Climate Data Initiative here: http://1.usa.gov/1gPGWd5

    Last week, Senator Coons and 27 of his colleagues held an all night session on the Senate floor to urge action on climate change. You can watch and read Senator Coons’ remarks here: http://1.usa.gov/N46Hyd

  • Senator Coons announces bill to boost manufacturing education at universities

    Senator Coons works with biochemistry students at UD on February 20, 2014

    Senator Coons joined leaders from the University of Delaware Thursday to announce new legislation designed to boost STEM education and help universities prepare students for careers in innovation and advanced manufacturing. The Manufacturing Universities Act of 2014 would award competitive grants to 25 designated ‘manufacturing universities,’ to better align educational offerings with the needs of modern manufacturers.

    “The entire lifecycle of innovation, skills, and creativity in manufacturing has to include universities,” Senator Coons said. “Universities have a central role to play in continuing the cycle of innovation that is essential if American manufacturing is to continue its current recovery. Over the last three years, our economy has regained 600,000 manufacturing jobs, but hundreds of thousands more remain unfilled because there aren’t enough appropriately skilled and trained process engineers, mechanical engineers, and chemical engineers to keep that innovation going.”

    Grants of $5 million per year, for a four-year period, will help universities revamp their engineering programs to emphasize manufacturing skills, incentivize partnerships with local manufacturers, increase internship and cooperative education opportunities for students, and help more recent graduates launch new manufacturing businesses.

    “We want more students graduating with the skills they need to thrive in the 21st century manufacturing environment, and we want more of our universities orienting themselves toward this field where we can win, our communities can win, and our country can win.”

    Following the announcement Senator Coons visited with biochemistry students and faculty at UD’s Interdisciplinary Science and Engineering Laboratory (ISE Lab) to demonstrate a chemical reaction and discuss the importance of STEM education.

    University of Delaware
  • Sen. Coons talks manufacturing, innovation with Delaware MIT alums and American Chemical Society members

    Senator Coons meets with Delaware MIT alums and members of ACS Delaware Section on January 17, 2014.

    Local scientists, chemists and engineers packed the dining room at Brantwyn Estate on Friday to engage in open discussion with Sen. Coons about his recent work in Washington to promote advanced manufacturing and innovation. The event was the sixth joint meeting of the MIT Club of the Delaware Valley and the Delaware Section of the American Chemical Society.

    Chris, who holds a B.A. in Chemistry from Amherst College and worked for eight years for a materials-based science company, shared his genuine excitement about invention and innovation, as well as his keen understanding of the financing challenges materials-based science companies face. He discussed his efforts in the Senate around these issues, including leading the Manufacturing Jobs for America campaign to grow our nation’s manufacturing sector, introducing the America INNOVATES Act to modernize aspects of our national lab system, and working on new bipartisan legislation to reauthorize investments in basic science and technology through innovative programs like the Advanced Research Projects Agency – Energy (ARPA-E). 

     “I’m trying to help make the connection in the Senate between advanced manufacturing, research and development, and job opportunities,” said Chris. “America is and can continue to be one of the most productive manufacturing countries in the world, but manufacturing relies very heavily on R&D, on patents, and on continuous innovation.”

    “At a time of scarce public resources, science is a critical investment,” Chris continued. “Right now, I need your voice, because there are very few in Congress who understand the compounding value of investment in basic and applied science, about the risks we face in intellectual property, and the importance of getting STEM education at the elementary school level right. We've got huge challenges ahead but also great opportunities – in green chemistry, in reimagining advanced polymers, in advanced manufacturing – and I'm looking forward to working with you to ensure our nation remains a leader in science.”

  • Senator Coons touts job growth potential of startups on Morning Joe

    Senator Coons appeared on MSNBC's Morning Joe on Friday to talk about his bipartisan work in the Senate to help innovative startups grow and create jobs. Between 1980 and 2005, all net new jobs created in the U.S. were created by firms five years old or less. Watch below.

  • 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.

  • 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.

    What We're Reading
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