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

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

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

“I personally brought NSF Director Dr. Sethuraman Panchanathan to the University of Rochester to see firsthand how uniquely suited the Finger Lakes region is to receive new federal investment and drive not only the upstate economy into the future, but also that of the entire nation,” Schumer said.

According to Schumer, the Finger Lakes region is poised to drive innovation and employment in the United States. He says the United States Competition and Innovation Act (USICA) should dramatically increase federal investments in research and workers while strengthening domestic manufacturing to address supply chain issues and reduce costs for families. of workers. According to Schumer, UR’s Laser Lab and a “world-class workforce” are preparing Rochester to “energize” America’s technology leadership.

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

Schumer said the United States’ position as a global innovation leader is under pressure from other countries like China. He pointed to decades of “underinvestment” as the reason US competitiveness is compromised. Senate Majority Leader pleaded for funding, saying ‘it’s only a matter of time’ before America’s global competitors ‘overtake the United States in technology and growth economy, as well as national security”.

“The stakes are enormous. If we don’t invest now in researching, developing and manufacturing the technologies of today and tomorrow, we will be vulnerable to persistent supply chain challenges that increase costs for working families and compromise American jobs, American competitiveness and national security. “Schumer said.

The aforementioned reasons are part of why the senator invited the NSF director to Rochester on Monday, so he could see a glimpse of research facilities in the region that can “continue to make groundbreaking discoveries to ensure that the United States continues to lead in critical technologies. ” “

“NSF’s vision for the future of discovery and innovation revolves around the idea of ​​creating robust innovation ecosystems across the country that can drive science and engineering to new heights. of success. What we have seen here today is an embodiment of that vision,” said Dr Panchanathan. mentioned.

In explaining why Rochester is well positioned for investment, Schumer cited a recent study authored 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”. who said millions of new jobs could be created through a new federal effort to increase federal science funding.

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

“Our long-standing partnership with NSF is pushing the boundaries of science and engineering, developing a diverse workforce, expanding our technological capability, and accelerating innovation to drive America’s global competitiveness,” said Mangelsdorf said. “We strongly believe that the University of Rochester and the greater Finger Lakes region as a whole are well positioned to be national leaders in these areas.”

Officials in Schumer’s office said the senator led USICA’s move to the Senate in June of last year. The House passed its related law, the America COMPETES Act earlier this year and last week, Schumer took a step toward advancing the bill through to final passage, announce speakers to the conference committee to reconcile the differences between the Senate and the House passed bills to send final legislation to the President for signing into law.

“As we seek to leverage Rochester’s many unique strengths to benefit our national economy, I am honored to have been appointed to the conference committee to advance America COMPETES and USICA legislation,” said Rep. Joe Morelle, who appeared on Monday’s UR tour. . “I look forward to the work ahead to strengthen America’s global competitiveness, expand our economic interests and strengthen our workforce.”

From the senator’s office

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

  • Increase investments in NSF research and development programs and science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) education and training programs. Schumer said research institutions like the University of Rochester and technical training schools like Monroe Community College are in a strong position to compete for those federal funds. The legislation also incorporates a range of new programs, including STEM education programs for underrepresented populations and skilled technical training to prepare workers for tech jobs.
  • New directorate of technology and innovation launched at NSF supporting R&D in key technologies by increasing STEM education, building regional innovation hubs, and supporting technology transfer and entrepreneurship programs. Schumer said a major increase in this type of federal support puts cutting-edge facilities such as the University of Rochester’s OMEGA Laser Facility and the region’s other research institutes in a unique position to benefit from investments. additional feds.
  • Increase federal investments in supply chains and American manufacturing, including $2.4 billion for the Manufacturing Extension Partnership and $1.2 billion for the Manufacturing USA program. This investment would nearly 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 includes $52 billion in federal funds to expand domestic semiconductor manufacturing, including at sites like AIM Photonics in Rochester and STAMP in Genesee County, and the bill creates a supply chain resilience program to bring manufacturing back to America and help address supply chain vulnerabilities. that drive up costs for working families and disrupt the economy.
  • Create a new $10 billion regional tech hub program through the Department of Commerce to support regional economic development efforts to build centers across the country to not only research and innovate technologies, but also to manufacture them here in America. Technology hubs would make efforts to strengthen domestic manufacturing and supply chains, workforce training, business and entrepreneur development, technology transfer and commercialization, and improving infrastructure to drive innovation and manufacturing across the country.

Schumer pointed to the work being done at the following Rochester research facilities and technology programs as other examples of what could be supercharged to create new, well-paying jobs through new investments provided by USICA:

  • The University of Rochester Laser Laboratory which supports nearly 900 jobs in Rochester for scientists, engineers and technicians. As a premier institution training the next generation of leaders in physics, optics and materials science, LLE is a magnet for economic development that creates local high-tech jobs and attracts scientific talents in Rochester. Many Rochester companies, including Sydor Technologies, QED Technologies and Lucid, were created as a result of the lab and now employ hundreds of workers.
  • The NextCorps High Tech business incubator located in the town center of Sibley Building, which has helped create over 1,200 new jobs by helping over 350 local manufacturers and tech start-ups grow – companies like Plug Power which has just opened a new Gigafactory Green Hydrogen with 380 jobs in Henrietta.
  • UR Center for Quantum Electrodynamics – Rochester researchers here are pushing the boundaries to use quantum advances to make transformative new molecules and catalysts. Additionally, they are developing the building blocks needed to make quantum computing a reality.
  • UR Center for Matter at Atomic Pressures which is one of only 11 NSF Physics Frontier Centers nationwide making breakthrough discoveries in physics.

About Perry Perrie

Check Also

British experts qualify Saudis in rail sector

RIYADH: More than 35 Saudi students who won 22 awards at the 2022 Regeneron International …