WASHINGTON – The National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) passed by the Senate today includes U.S. Senator Chris Coons’ (D-Del.) bipartisan bill to eliminate a federal funding limit on the National Institute for Innovation in Manufacturing Biopharmaceuticals (NIIMBL). Currently slated to exhaust a stream of federal dollars after 2021, NIIMBL, under this legislation, could continually earn valuable federal funding, which to date has leveraged $129 million from industry.

NIIMBL supports industry-leading research with 115 members from industry, academic institutes, nonprofit organizations, and states. The Newark-based manufacturing hub connects local manufacturers to national resources to spur local innovation and create new high-skill, high-paying jobs for Delawareans. 

“It brings me great pride that Delawareans are leading the world in the development, testing, and production of medicines of the future,” Senator Coons said. “With this bill, and the vital federal funding opportunity it creates, Delaware’s innovators will continue to not only save lives, but also create jobs for generations of high-skilled Delawareans who will manufacture these lifesaving drugs. Also, other states are empowered to follow Delaware’s lead by forming new institutes specializing in other vital areas of manufacturing.” 

Cosponsored by U.S. Senators Cory Gardner (R-Colo.), Kirsten Gillibrand (D-NY), Thom Tillis (R-NC), Maggie Hassan (D-NH), Gary Peters (D-Mich.), Jerry Moran (R-Kan.), Marco Rubio (R-Fla.), Amy Klobuchar (D-MN), and Susan Collins (R-Maine), the legislation was filed as an amendment to the NDAA. In addition to the support for NIIMBL, the Global Leadership in Advanced Manufacturing Act promotes the development of new Manufacturing USA institutes. 

The Manufacturing USA program is a national network of 14 public-private partnership institutes with 1,300-member companies and institutions working to keep the U.S. on the cutting edge of advanced manufacturing. The institutes have generated $2 billion in industry-matched funding to transition innovative technologies from lab to market and to expand the production of goods made in America. The bill also embeds a liaison of the Manufacturing Extension Partnership (MEP) in each Manufacturing USA institute to assist with cybersecurity training, workforce development and technology transfer for small- and medium-sized manufacturers.