ROCHESTER, NY (WROC) – Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer said Monday that the Finger Lakes region “is poised to provide the next generation of well-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, which is why he invited NSF Director Dr. Sithuraman Panchanathan, on a Monday tour of the University of Rochester so he can see first-hand the research facilities on campus.
“I personally brought the Director of NSF, Dr. Sethuraman Panchanathan, to the University of Rochester to see how uniquely the Finger Lakes region is suitable for receiving more federal investment and driving not only the rural economy into the future, but the entire nation,” Schumer said.
According to Schumer, the Finger Lakes region is poised to drive American innovation and jobs. He says the US Innovation and Competition Act (USICA) is set to dramatically increase federal investment in research and personnel while boosting local manufacturing to fix supply chain problems and lower costs for working families. According to Schumer, UR’s laser lab and “excellent workforce” make Rochester ready to “surge” technology leadership in the United States.
“We must increase investment in research and manufacturing to enhance our nation’s global competitiveness and create good-paying jobs for working families across the Finger Lakes and Upstate New York,” Schumer said.
Schumer said the US’s position as a global leader in innovation is under pressure from other countries such as China. He cited decades of “underinvestment” as the reason for the United States’ poor competitiveness. The Senate Majority Leader called for the funding, saying it was “only a matter of time” before “global American competitors outperform the United States in terms of technology and economic growth, as well as national security.”
“The stakes are enormous. If we do not invest now in research, development, and manufacturing of today’s and future technologies, we will be exposed to ongoing supply chain challenges that raise costs for working families and put American jobs, competitiveness, and national security at risk,” Schumer said.
The above reasons are part of the reason 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 the United States continues to lead in critical technologies.”
“NSF’s vision for the future of discovery and innovation is built on the idea of creating robust innovation ecosystems across the country that can propel science and engineering to new heights of success. What we have seen here today is the embodiment of that vision,” Dr. Panchanathan. She said.
When discussing why Rochester is in a good position to invest, Schumer cited a recent study written by MIT economists Dr. Jonathan Gruber and Simon Johnson in their book, “Jump-Start America: How Breakthrough Science Can Resurrect Economic Growth and the American Dream,” which said that Millions of new jobs could be created through a new federal effort to boost federal funding for science.
Sarah Mangelsdorf, president of the University of Uruguay, joined federal leaders on Monday’s tour and said the university is ready to be a leader in scientific discovery.
“Our long-term partnership with NSF is pushing the frontiers of science and engineering, growing a diverse workforce, expanding our technology capability, and accelerating innovation to drive the global competitiveness of the United States,” said Maglesdorff. “We firmly believe that the University of Rochester and the greater Finger Lakes region as a whole are well positioned to be national leaders in these regions.”
Officials from Schumer’s office said the senator led the USICA to Senate approval in June of last year. The House of Representatives passed the accompanying legislation, which is America’s Competition Law Earlier this year and last week, Schumer took a step toward advancing the bill to final passage, announcing the convention before the convention committee to settle differences between the Senate and House that passed the bills in order to send the final legislation to the president for signature into law.
“As we seek to leverage Rochester’s many unique assets for the benefit of our national economy, I am honored to be appointed to the conference committee to advance America’s Computing and Yusica legislation,” said Representative Joe Morrell, who participated in the UR on Monday. . “I look forward to working in the future to enhance America’s global competitiveness, advance our economic interests, and strengthen our workforce.”
From the Senator’s office
Schumer highlighted several programs at USICA that could enhance Rochester’s existing research and manufacturing efforts, including:
- Increase investment in NSF research and development and education and training programs in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics. 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 these federal funds. The legislation also includes a series of new programs, including science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) programs for the underrepresented population and skilled technical education to prepare workers for technical jobs.
- New Directorate of Technology and Innovation launched at NSF To support research and development in key technologies by increasing STEM education, building regional innovation centers, and supporting technology transfer and entrepreneurship programmes. Schumer said a significant increase in this type of federal support puts cutting-edge facilities such as the Omega Laser Facility at the University of Rochester and other research institutions in the region in a unique position to benefit from more federal investment.
- Increased federal investment in US manufacturing and supply chains, including $2.4 billion for the Manufacturing Extension Partnership and $1.2 billion for the USA Manufacturing Program. This investment will nearly quadruple the Department of Commerce’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 such as 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 vulnerabilities in the chain supply that increases costs to working families and disrupts the economy.
- Create new $10 billion regional technology centers A program through the Department of Commerce to support regional economic development efforts to build hubs across the country not only for research and innovation in technologies but also for manufacturing here in America. Technology centers will make efforts to enhance manufacturing and local supply chains, train the workforce, develop businesses and entrepreneurs, transfer and commercialize technology, and improve infrastructure to promote innovation and industrialization across the country.
Schumer described the work being done at the following research facilities and technology programs in Rochester as further examples of what could be supercharged to create new, well-paying jobs through new investment provided through USICA:
- University of Rochester laser lab That supports nearly 900 jobs in Rochester for scientists, engineers, and technicians. As a leading institution that trains the next generation of leaders in the fields of physics, optics and materials science, LLE is a magnet for economic development that is moving away from local high-tech jobs and attracting scientific talent to Rochester. Several Rochester companies including Sydor Technologies, QED Technologies and Lucid were created as a result of the lab and now employ hundreds of workers.
- NextCorps hi-tech business incubator It’s located in the downtown Sibley Building that has helped create more than 1,200 new jobs by helping more than 350 local manufacturers and high-tech startups grow – businesses like Plug Power that just opened 380 new jobs at Henrietta’s Green Hydrogen Gigafactory.
- UR Center for Quantum Electrodynamics – Here Rochester researchers are pushing the boundaries of using quantum advances to make new transformational molecules and catalysts. In addition, they are developing the building blocks needed to make quantum computing a reality.
- Uruguay Center of Matter in Atomic Pressures Which is one of only 11 NSF Physics Frontier Centers nationwide that makes groundbreaking discoveries in the field of physics.