CCEI Praises Bipartisan Bill to Reform DOE Labs

July 16, 2014

CCEI supports the introduction of the DOE Lab Modernization and Technology Transfer Act of 2014, the House companion bill to the Senate's America INNOVATES Act.

WASHINGTON – (July 16, 2014) The Center for Clean Energy Innovation (CCEI) commended the introduction today of the Department of Energy Laboratory Modernization and Technology Transfer Act of 2014. The bill, sponsored by Representatives Randy Hultgren (R-IL), Derek Kilmer (D-WA), Lamar Smith (R-TX), Chaka Fattah (D-PA), Cynthia Lummis (R-WY), Eddie Bernice Johnson (D-TX), Eric Swalwell (D-CA) and Alan Nunnelee (R-MS) is a significant step towards bringing the United States’ National Lab system into the 21st Century.

The legislation would provide more flexible tools for transferring lab research into the hands of the private sector, improving the potential for more breakthrough technologies reaching the marketplace. The legislation is a companion bill to the America INNOVATES Act sponsored by Sens. Chris Coons (D-DE), Marco Rubio (R-FL), Dick Durbin (D-IL), and Mark Kirk (R-IL).

“This legislation is a major step towards moving the National Labs from its atomic roots and into the modern innovation economy,” says Matthew Stepp, Executive Director of CCEI, an affiliate research institute of the Information Technology and Innovation Foundation (ITIF). “These bills provide much needed flexibility in how the labs are managed by the Department of Energy and how they collaborate with industry, which will enhance innovation, technology transfer, and job creation. They are also a model for the bipartisan, innovation-based institutional reforms that are desperately needed to re-shape America’s innovation enterprise.”

The legislation is based in part on Turning the Page: Reimagining the National Labs in the 21st Century Innovation Economy, a 2013 policy report authored by CCEI, the Heritage Foundation and the Center for American Progress. It proposed a series of recommendations designed to bring greater efficiency and effectiveness to the DOE lab system, produce more relevant research, and allow that research to be pulled into the private sector.

“This legislation will strengthen America’s innovation ecosystem and we urge the House and the Senate to take these bills up as soon as possible to jump-start National Lab reform,” adds Stepp. 

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The Information Technology and Innovation Foundation (ITIF) is a non-profit, non-partisan think tank whose mission is to formulate and promote public policies to advance technological innovation and productivity internationally, in Washington, and in the states. Recognizing the vital role of technology in ensuring prosperity, ITIF focuses on innovation, productivity, and digital economy issues. Learn more at www.itif.org.

Contact: Samantha Greene
Email: sgreene@itif.org
Phone: (202) 626 5744