Updated 10/08/2012 07:12 PM
Gillibrand announces America Innovates Act at BU
Researchers at universities across the country could soon be getting some help turning their scientific breakthroughs into useful products and businesses. Senator Kirsten Gillibrand is pushing new legislation called the America Innovates Act. Our Melissa Kakareka has the details.
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VESTAL, N.Y. -- Researchers at Binghamton University are working on developments in areas such as solar energy. But they don't always have the resources they need to take their ideas to the next level.
"They might not be ready to get venture capital, but are beyond the point where they can be funded by small proposals and that’s where this idea really helps. It would bridge them to the point where they can get enough data and build prototypes that can be used to get venture capital," said BU Interim Vice President of Research.
Senator Kirsten Gillibrand visited Binghamton University Monday to announce new legislation that could help BU and other universities like it. It's called The America Innovates Act. The legislation would allow innovators and researchers to take their ideas from inside the lab and turn them into marketable products and companies.
"It's clear we need to do more to bridge the disconnect and provide our scientists with the business skills and funding to get these kinds of ideas off the ground," said Senator Kirsten Gillibrand.
The bill would create an American Innovation Bank Funding through that American Innovation Bank would allow universities to do things such as strengthen their "proof of concept funds," test products in an industrial setting, or build business incubators. The legislation would also provide business training for graduate students in science.
"So basically when we were touring these new solar cells, what they will do over the next year is take that proof of concept and prepare it for commercialization. If they have funding to create a business plan and to model how they can actually make money with this new breakthrough that would allow them to become a business faster," said Gillibrand.
Something that Gillibrand and other local leaders say would help the growth of high tech jobs in the Southern Tier and the country in the future.