Tech Transfer eNews Blog

America Innovates Act proposes “bank” for funding start-ups and education


By David Schwartz
Published: July 11th, 2012

Another recently introduced bill, seemingly flying under the radar of the tech transfer community, appears to offer a much more positive set of incentives for commercialization of university research. Coined the “America Innovates Act” (HR-4720), it aims to spur the growth of science and technology jobs by incentivizing start-up formation as well as enhancing business training opportunities for scientists and students.

According to U.S. Senator Kirsten Gillibrand (D-NY), who promoted the bill at a recent event held at Stony Brook University, “this common-sense legislation will help develop scientific breakthroughs into cutting edge businesses and new jobs.”

More specifically, the America Innovates Act encourages scientists and students to become more familiar with the business end of research and technology. The Act proposes training sessions and the creation of an “American Innovation Bank” that would help establish and sustain the development of new university-spawned tech companies.

“Statistics show that most start-up companies fail within the first year,” says Samuel L. Stanley, Jr., MD, president of Stony Brook University. “The mission,” he says, “is to change the odds and help good ideas succeed. This legislation can expand the opportunities for university researchers and graduate students … by providing additional support to help companies survive beyond that critical first year and develop useful and innovative technologies for the marketplace.”

Specifically, according to an official summary of the bill, The American Innovation Bank would “award competitive grants and loans to institutions of higher education, nonprofit research institutions, individual investigators, and private companies to develop new science and engineering discoveries into new companies, products, or jobs.” It also directs the National Science Foundation to “award competitive grants to Integrative Graduate Education and Research Traineeship (IGERT) program-funded institutions of higher education to support students who perform their graduate research in an industry setting.” And, grants would also be awarded to “develop professional science masters programs.” The measure was sponsored in the House by New Jersey Rep. Rush Holt, and in the Senate by Sen. Frank Lautenberg. eNews readers can access the actual bill here: OpenCongress.

Sources: Rush Holt and Stony Brook News

Posted under: Tech Transfer e-News

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