(Washington, DC) – This week, Representative Susan Wild (PA-07) introduced the Regional Innovation Act of 2021, bipartisan legislation to bolster American technology leadership by creating new regional hubs of innovation. The bill would incentivize collaborative partnerships between local governments, colleges and universities, private industry, non-profits, and community organizations to promote and support regional technology hubs in places like the Greater Lehigh Valley. Rep. Wild is a member of the House Science, Space, and Technology Committee, and is joined by Rep. Jim Baird (IN-04) in introducing this bipartisan legislation.

“American innovation is much more than the sum of its parts. By fostering public-private partnerships that harness the wells of talent in communities like mine, we can create regional innovation hubs that promote national competitiveness while creating good-paying jobs,” said Rep. Wild. “This legislation isn’t just bipartisan, it’s commonsense – every corner of our country stands to gain by incentivizing the type of collaborative economic development that will ensure American resilience from the Silicon Valley to the Lehigh Valley.”

“In order to strengthen America’s status as a world leader in innovation, we must invest in the future and eliminate economic roadblocks that stand in the way of progress,” said Rep. Baird. “Indiana is widely recognized as a center for innovation, and I am proud to work with my colleagues in a bipartisan effort to support Hoosiers and institutions across the country in their continued pursuit of ingenuity and advancement.”

This legislation will promote regional innovation hubs by directing the Secretary of Commerce to support eligible consortia in the development and implementation of regional innovation strategies with grants and awards, with the goals of:

  • Enabling United States leadership in technology and innovation sectors critical to national and economic security;
  • Support regional economic development and resilience, including in small cities and rural areas, and promote increased geographic diversity of innovation across the United States;
  • Promoting the benefits of technology development and innovation for all Americans, including underserved communities and vulnerable communities; to support domestic job creation and broad-based economic growth;
  • Improving the pace of market readiness, industry maturation, and overall commercialization of innovative research;
  • Ensuring that the regional technology and innovation hubs address the intersection of emerging technologies and either regional challenges or national challenges; and
  • Conducting ongoing research, evaluation, analysis, and dissemination of best practices for regional development and competitiveness in technology and innovation.

Representatives Jamaal Bowman (NY-16), Anthony Gonzalez (OH-16), and Ro Khanna (CA-17) are also original cosponsors of the bill.

Source: Press Release
Date: July 21, 2021
Catherine Anderson
Maddie McComb (Wild)