U.S. Senator Chris Coons (D-Del.) participated in a roundtable discussion in the Capitol on Thursday looking at the important relationship between federal research funding and innovation in scientific achievement in the biomedical sector. The meeting was hosted by the Senate Democratic Steering and Outreach Committee and featured nearly a dozen leaders in science industry, including Bob Dayton, president of Delaware Bio, and Kelvin Lee, director of the Delaware Biotechnology Institute at the University of Delaware.
"The federal government has historically played a key role in financing America's groundbreaking discoveries, and if we want our nation to remain a global leader in innovation, we must continue investing in our researchers," Senator Coons said. "Sadly, Republicans in Congress have fought to cut funding for research programs that improve our economy and create jobs. Thanks in large part to partnerships with the federal government, Delaware's research community has led the way in innovation. I was pleased to be joined Thursday by two leaders in our state's biomedical industry for a discussion that I hope will help address critical issues in science research funding."
The hour-long discussion focused on the important role federal funding plays in financing technological research that enables economic growth, and job creation in America. One of the topics Dr. Lee touched on during the meeting was the difficulty many researchers have with explaining the importance of their work. Another issue that Mr. Dayton raised was the need to provide better incentives for private sector investment.
A member of the Senate Committee on Energy and Natural Resources, Senator Coons understands the critical role federal funding plays in financing scientific research in Delaware and around the nation. One of the first pieces of legislation Senator Coons cosponsored was the America COMPETES Act, which focused on supporting innovation by increasing investments in research as well as science, technology, engineering, and mathematics education.