U.S. Representative Derek Kilmer (WA-06) and Rep. Randy Hultgren (IL-14) today praised the passage H.R. 5120 without opposition. The Department of Energy Laboratory Modernization and Technology Transfer Act of 2014 would bring the United States' national lab system into the 21st century and promote the easy transfer of federal research into the private sector to bring to the marketplace.
"Today, the House passed a bipartisan bill that will help us turn scientific ideas into jobs," said Rep. Kilmer. "Our national laboratories have been and continue to be the birthplace of some of our most revolutionary technologies. This legislation makes it easier for entrepreneurs and business leaders to harness that research so start-ups with one or two employees can grow into companies that create hundreds of quality jobs. Giving scientists and researchers at labs like the Pacific Northwest National Laboratory the tools and freedom to widen the impact of their great discoveries ensures they will remain an important foundation of Washington state's knowledge-based economy that provides 21st century jobs in our region."
"This bill will ensure that discoveries made in our national labs do not get stuck there. Instead, public-private partnerships can speed scientific research and innovation into the marketplace and help drive our economy forward and create jobs," said Rep. Hultgren. "As our national labs have been a primary driver of American innovation, we must stay ahead of technological change and new discoveries by pursuing 21st century policies. I again thank all of my House colleagues for their support, and trust the full Senate to take up this legislation quickly."
H.R. 5120 includes Reps. Chaka Fattah (D-PA), Alan Nunnelee (R-MS), and the Chairmen and Ranking Members of the House Science, Space and Technology Committee and the Subcommittee on Energy, respectively, as cosponsors. It is a companion bill to the America INNOVATES Act (S. 1973) sponsored by Sens. Chris Coons (D-DE) and Marco Rubio (R-FL).
Reps. Hultgren, Fattah and Nunnelee are co-chairs on the House Science and National Labs Caucus. Rep. Hultgren and Rep. Kilmer are both members of the House Science, Space and Technology Committee and serve together on the Subcommittee on Research and Technology.