Congressman Chris Collins Introduces TRANSFER Act
Sep 13, 2013
Bipartisan bill looks to turn great ideas into commercial success, improving the economy
Congressman Chris Collins (NY-27) has introduced legislation in Congress to help scientists commercialize their ideas and it has the backing of local research universities. As a member of the Science, Space and Technology Committee, Collins is the sponsor of the TRANSFER Act of 2013 (H.R. 2981). This bill builds upon a current program and specifically awards grants to innovative technology transfer programs at universities, research institutes, and national laboratories. Collins made the announcement at the RIT Venture Creations Incubator in Rochester, NY and at SUNY Geneseo during a visit to the Nuclear Molecular Lab.
“One of the most effective ways we can spur economic growth is to assist some of the country’s smartest minds in turning their good ideas into a commercial success,” said Congressman Collins. “Scientists often need a funding boost to take the initial steps to see if their invention or concept has the potential to be commercialized. Without this critical legwork, a scientist is often unable to partner with a business or an investor to take their idea to the next level.”
The TRANSFER Act would provide $50,000 grants, on average. Collins says the bill would be an asset to both research institutions, including RIT and the University of Rochester, and federal taxpayers.
“In 2012, the federal government funded more than $131 billion in research and development activities,” said Congressman Collins. “More than half of all basic research conducted at our nation’s colleges and universities is funded by the federal government. Grants aimed at helping take ideas to the marketplace will help American taxpayers realize a greater return on their investments, and improve the competitiveness of the American economy. There is no doubt that Americans will benefit from the acceleration of new products, technologies, and medicines.”
"We are tremendously excited to hear about the new bi-partisan bill being introduced by Congressman Collins," said Dr. Ryne P. Raffaelle, Vice President for Research and Associate Provost at RIT.
"We at RIT take great pride in the support we provide to small businesses,” continued Raffaelle. “This new bill would most certainly enhance our ability to help deliver the innovative technical advances that support our local entrepreneurs and have become the hallmark of our upstate economy."
"Ensuring that the technologies developed at the University of Rochester have the greatest opportunity to move out of the research lab and into the marketplace for public use and benefit is an important part of our mission,” said Scott Catlin, Associate Vice President for Innovation and Technology Commercialization University of Rochester. “The TRANSFER Act provides critical, dedicated support to technologies at its earliest and riskiest stage. By bridging the gap in early-stage companies at this critical point, the TRANSFER Act will strengthen our innovation ecosystem and accelerate our efforts to create more small business and jobs across our region."
“The Transfer Act Congressman Collins is sponsoring dovetails very well with Geneseo’s strong record in undergraduate research,” said Geneseo president Christopher C. Dahl. “Students studying in our School of Business and conducting projects in our new Center for Inquiry, Discovery and Development as well as the hundreds of clients taking advantage of our Small Business Development Center would benefit greatly from this legislation. It would strongly support the good work Geneseo is doing on entrepreneurship and the key role it will play in New York’s future.”
The House Science, Space, and Technology Committee recently held a hearing to discuss this legislation and will soon begin consideration for its passage. This bipartisan bill is being co-sponsored by Congressman Derek Kilmer of Washington and has the backing of Committee Chairman Lamar Smith (R-TX) and Ranking Member Eddie Bernice Johnson (D-TX).
This bill has the support of 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.