Schumer tours UR: Rochester poised to be tech leader, calls for federal investment

ROCHESTER, NY (WROC) – Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer said Monday the Finger Lakes region is “prepared to power the next generation of research and high-paying tech jobs.

With billions of dollars on the horizon for the National Science Foundation, the senator is pushing for federal investment in Rochester, so he invited NSF Director Dr. Sethuraman Panchanathan on Monday for a tour at the University of Rochester so he could witness first-hand the research facilities on campus.

“I have NSF Director Dr. Sethuraman Panchanathan personally brought to the University of Rochester to see firsthand how uniquely positioned the Finger Lakes region is to receive further federal investment and propel not just the state’s economy into the future, but that of the nation as a whole. said Schumer.

According to Schumer, the Finger Lakes region is poised to drive American innovation and jobs. He says the US Innovation and Competition Act (USICA) aims to significantly increase federal investment in research and workers while strengthening domestic manufacturing to address supply chain problems and reduce costs for working families. According to Schumer, UR’s Laser Lab and a “world-class workforce” are preparing Rochester to “overwhelm” US tech leadership.

“We must increase investment in research and manufacturing to increase our country’s global competitiveness and create high-paying jobs for working families in the Finger Lakes area and upstate New York,” Schumer said.

Schumer said the US position as a global innovation leader is under pressure from other countries like China. He pointed to decades of “underinvestment” as the reason for the US’s underperforming competitiveness. The Senate Majority Leader made the case for funding, saying that “it is only a matter of time” before America’s global competitors “overtake the US in terms of technology and economic growth and national security.”

“The effort is enormous. Unless we invest now in the research, development, and manufacturing of the technologies of today and tomorrow, we will be vulnerable to ongoing supply chain challenges that increase the cost of working families and US jobs, US competitiveness, and national security jeopardize,” Schumer said.

The above reasons are one of the reasons why the senator invited the NSF director to Rochester on Monday so he could take a look at the region’s research facilities that “can continue to make breakthrough discoveries to ensure the US stays in critical technologies are leaders. “

“NSF’s vision for the future of research and innovation is based on the idea of ​​creating robust innovation ecosystems across the country that can take science and technology to new heights of success. What we have seen here today is an embodiment of that vision,” Dr. Panchanathan. called.

Discussing why Rochester is well-positioned for investing, Schumer cited a recent study conducted by MIT economists Dr. Jonathan Gruber and Simon Johnson in their book Jump-Starting America: How Breakthrough Science Can Revive Economic Growth and the American Dream. which said millions of new jobs could be created by a new federal effort to increase federal funding for the sciences.

UR President Sarah Mangelsdorf joined federal leaders for Monday’s tour and said the university is poised to be a leader in scientific discovery.

“Our long-standing partnership with NSF is pushing the boundaries of science and technology, creating a diverse workforce, expanding our technology capabilities and accelerating innovation to drive U.S. global competitiveness,” said Mangelsdorf. “We strongly believe that the University of Rochester and the greater Finger Lakes area as a whole are well positioned to be national leaders in these areas.”

Officials from Schumer’s office said the senator led USICA to passage through the Senate last June. The House of Representatives passed its accompanying legislation, which America COMPETES Act Earlier this year and last week, Schumer took a step toward the law moving toward final passage, Announcement of the conference participants to the conference committee to settle differences between bills passed by the Senate and House of Representatives, to submit final legislation to the President for signing into law.

“As we strive to leverage Rochester’s many unique assets to benefit our national economy, I am honored to be appointed to the conference committee to drive legislation on America COMPETES and USICA,” said Assemblyman Joe Morelle, who took part in the UR tour on Monday. “I look forward to the work that lies ahead to strengthen America’s global competitiveness, strengthen our economic interests and strengthen our workforce.”

From the senator’s office

Schumer highlighted several programs at USICA that could support current research and manufacturing efforts at Rochester, including:

  • Increasing investment for NSF research and development programs and science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) education and training programs. Schumer said research institutions like the University of Rochester and technical schools like Monroe Community College are in a strong position to compete for those federal funds. The legislation also includes a number of new programs, including STEM education programs for underrepresented populations and skilled technical training to prepare workers for tech jobs.
  • Creation of a new Directorate for Technology and Innovation at NSF Support R&D in key enabling technologies by improving STEM education, establishing regional innovation hubs and supporting technology transfer and entrepreneurship programmes. Schumer said a significant increase in this type of federal support puts cutting-edge facilities like the OMEGA Laser Facility at the University of Rochester and the region’s other research facilities in a unique position to benefit from further federal investment.
  • Expanding federal investment in supply chains and American manufacturing, including $2.4 billion for the Manufacturing Extension Partnership and $1.2 billion for the Manufacturing USA program. That investment would almost quadruple the Commerce Department’s Manufacturing Extension Partnership (MEP), which funds centers like NextCorps in Rochester to help small- and medium-sized manufacturers. Schumer’s bill also provides $52 billion in federal funding to expand domestic semiconductor manufacturing, including at sites like AIM Photonics in Rochester and STAMP in Genesee County, and the bill provides for a supply chain resilience program to bring manufacturing back to America and fix supply chain weaknesses that are driving up costs for working families and disrupting the economy.
  • Build $10 billion in new regional technology hubs Program through the Department of Commerce to support regional economic development efforts to build centers across the country not only to research and innovate technology, but to manufacture it right here in America. The technology centers would make efforts to strengthen manufacturing and domestic supply chains, train workers, develop businesses and entrepreneurs, technology transfer and commercialization, and improve infrastructure to boost innovation and manufacturing across the country.

Schumer cited work at the following Rochester research facilities and technology programs as other examples of what could be charged through new investments from USICA to create new high-paying jobs:

  • The University of Rochester Laser Laboratory which supports nearly 900 jobs in Rochester for scientists, engineers and technicians. As the leading institution educating the next generation of leaders in physics, optics and materials science, LLE is a magnet for economic development, outsourcing local high-tech jobs and attracting scientific talent to Rochester. Many Rochester companies including Sydor Technologies, QED Technologies and Lucid were formed as a result of the lab and now employ hundreds of people.
  • The NextCorps High Tech Incubator is located in the downtown Sibley Building, which has helped create over 1,200 new jobs by helping over 350 local manufacturers and high-tech start-ups to grow — companies like Plug Power, which just launched a new one Green Hydrogen Gigafactory has opened in Henrietta with 380 jobs.
  • Center for Quantum Electrodynamics of the UR – Rochester researchers are pushing the envelope here to harness quantum advances to create transformative new molecules and catalysts. They are also developing the fundamental building blocks needed to make quantum computers a reality.
  • UR’s Center for Matter at Atomic Pressure This is one of only 11 NSF Physics Frontier Centers nationwide making breakthrough discoveries in physics.

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