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Coats, Gillibrand Introduce Bipartisan Bill to Help Indiana’s Universities

Legislation would streamline proof-of-concept research, help create jobs

WASHINGTON, DC – Senators Dan Coats (R-Ind.) and Kirsten Gillibrand (D-N.Y.) today introduced the Technology and Research Accelerating National Security and Future Economic Resiliency Act of 2014, or ‘‘TRANSFER Act,’’ that builds upon the current Small Business Technology Transfer (STTR) program by creating grant opportunities for proof-of-concept research and other innovative technology transfer activities at universities, research institutions and federal laboratories. This bipartisan legislation would help accelerate the commercialization of federally-funded research and technologies.

The Coats-Gillibrand bill would aid Indiana University, Purdue University, the University of Notre Dame and other universities and research institutions that face significant hurdles in translating federally-funded research and technologies into the marketplace.

Senator Coats, along with representatives from Indiana University, Purdue University and the University of Notre Dame, issued the following statements regarding the TRANSFER Act:

“I have been gathering input from Hoosiers on achievable solutions to some of our nation’s biggest problems,” said Coats. “As part of the Indiana Way, my 10-point legislative agenda for 2014, I pledged to support Hoosier manufacturing and legislation that will help create more jobs. Since more than half of the expected economic growth in the next decade will come from science and technology, this legislation is important to the future of Indiana’s economy. I am proud to work with Senator Gillibrand to make it easier for innovators to commercialize their products and get them into the marketplace. By helping federally funded research and development prove its commercial viability in the marketplace, we can open the door to the type of jobs that Indiana needs in years to come.”

“IU applauds Sen. Coats’s leadership in introducing legislation designed to help small companies move their research discoveries into the marketplace,” said Tony Armstrong, Associate Vice President in the IU Office of Engagement.  “By directing federal agencies to establish a mechanism to support early-stage development, the legislation would help mitigate one of the biggest hurdles to translating research into the marketplace.”

“Purdue Research Park, the largest university-affiliated business incubation complex in the country and winner of the 2014 Incubator Network of the Year by the National Business Incubator Association, salutes Sen. Coats for his sponsorship of the TRANSFER Act," said Dan Hasler, president and chief entrepreneurial officer of Purdue Research Foundation. "The federal government should do all it can to support the transfer of federal research dollars into marketable technology such as the more than 260 companies located at PRP, who  employ about 4,500 people earning an average annual wage of $63,000."

"With many promising ideas and technologies moving from the University to our Innovation Park facility next to campus, we are especially pleased that Senator Coats has chosen to co-sponsor the Senate version of the TRANSFER Act," said Robert Bernhard, VP for Research at the University of Notre Dame.  "When this bill becomes law, new sources of funding will be available to assist early stage development of intellectual property for commercialization that will foster more entrepreneurship and better employment possibilities in the South Bend area and around the state."

The bipartisan TRANSFER Act is supported by the American Council on Education, the American Energy Innovation Council, the Association of American Medical Colleges, the Association of American Universities, the Association of Independent Research Institutes, the Association of Public and Land-grant Universities, the Association of University Technology Managers, Battelle and SRI International. 


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