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Posted: September 14, 2009
Congressman Lipinski addresses nanotechnology conference, pledging support
(Nanowerk News) In a speech Tuesday before the 8th annual NanoBusiness Conference in Chicago, Congressman Dan Lipinski (IL-3) called for enhanced support for cutting-edge research into nanotechnology, which has the potential to be a revolutionary force for job creation and economic growth. As chairman of the House Science and Technology Committee’s Subcommittee on Research and Science Education and one of the few members of Congress who holds an engineering degree, Congressman Lipinski is a leading supporter of nanotechnology, calling it “the next industrial revolution.”
“I firmly believe that nanotech represents one of the most important – possibly the most important – technological keys to future economic growth and new jobs,” Lipinski told the audience, which included researchers, investors, and representatives of numerous nanotech small businesses. “I am excited about the potential of nanotechnology and I am interested in what can be done by the government to provide the best environment for nanotech innovations to succeed in the lab and in the marketplace.
“Our economy generally and our manufacturing sector in particular are struggling to cope with the worldwide recession, and we are seeing America’s competitive edge erode,” Lipinski continued. “It is clear that America needs to act now if we want to continue to lead the world in basic research, invent the next generation of products, and reinvent our manufacturing base. I am happy to report that we are acting. We are pushing to double the budget of many of the basic science research agencies and to place a new emphasis on transformative research and technology commercialization. Even more importantly, science, technology, engineering, and math education have never been a higher priority. But while government has an important role to play, I understand that economic success comes through the private sector, through businesses like the ones many of you have started.”
As chairman of the Subcommittee on Research and Science Education, Lipinski helped pass the reauthorization of the National Nanotechnology Initiative in the House this year. The NNI coordinates nanotech research across 25 federal agencies and has helped create a network of state-of-the-art nanoscale research centers. The reauthorization bill makes several major changes to the NNI, including placing increased emphasis on transferring technology from research laboratories to industry. Congressman Lipinski believes more must be done to turn the discoveries generated by government-sponsored nanotechnology research into profitable, job-creating applications and products.
Congressman Lipinski’s work on nanotechnology does not end with the NNI. As subcommittee chairman, he will be leading the reauthorization this year of the National Science Foundation, which funds Nanoscale Science and Engineering Centers around the country, including two in Illinois.
“We have only scratched the surface of nanotechnology’s potential to create jobs,” Lipinski told the audience. “While the companies assembled here are proof we can turn innovative products, materials, and technologies into successful businesses, we need leaders in academia, business, finance, and politics to do an even better job of promoting nanotech throughout the country. I look forward to continuing to work to help make this happen, and I promise that I will be doing everything I can to make sure that nanotechnology is the next industrial revolution and the economic engine for future growth.”