This week, U.S. Rep. Dan Webster, R-Fla., doubled down on his efforts to expand participation in the National Science Foundation Innovation Corps (I-Corps), insisting it helps spur innovation in businesses and entrepreneurship.
Webster joined U.S. Reps. Eddie Bernice Johnson, D-Tex., Dan Lipinksi, D-Ill., and Frank Lucas, R-Ok., and U.S. Sens. Chris Coons, D-Del., and Todd Young, R-Ind., in unveiling the “Innovators to Entrepreneurs Act” which will increase “participation in the successful National Science Foundation Innovation Corps program and provides additional training for innovators to learn how to turn their research into new products and businesses.”
Lipinksi is the chief sponsor of the bill in the House.
“I’m so pleased to be joined by a bipartisan group of colleagues in the House and Senate to introduce this bill expanding the highly effective I-Corps program, something I have championed since its inception. Increasing the accessibility of I-Corps allows us to ensure the money we invest in research and development will spur job growth and boost our return on investment. This bill has been endorsed by a wide range of technology, venture capital, and academic stakeholders, and we’re optimistic it will become law with overwhelming bipartisan support,” said Lipinski when he brought out the bill this week.
“This bill expands upon the time-tested I-Corps program through adding a course for commercialization-ready participants,” said Webster. “This course will focus on the essential skills of starting a successful and scalable business. I thank Senators Coons and Young for leading the charge in the Senate and making this a bicameral effort.”
The bill “expands the eligible pool of applicants for the I-Corps program, allowing the participation of aspiring entrepreneurs who have already demonstrated their merit by being awarded Small Business Innovation Research or Small Business Technology Transfer grants from a federal agency.”
Since being launched in 2012 to link scientists, tech experts and engineers with the business communities and entrepreneurs, the I-Corps has trained more than 1,300 teams and helped launch almost 650 startups around the nation, bringing in more than $300 million in funding.
The bill was sent to the U.S. House Science, Space, and Technology and the Small Business Committees this week.