Legislation Aims To Turn Researchers Into Entrepreneurs

By Adam Chick

October 8, 2012 Updated Oct 8, 2012 at 6:13 PM EDT

Vestal, NY (WBNG Binghamton) A new piece of legislation aims to turn researchers into entrepreneurs.

The ultimate goal of this legislation is to accelerate the growth of new science and technology jobs in the region, as well as turning new technologies into marketable products.

This will make schools like Binghamton University even more valuable commodities.

"The importance of the America Innovates Act is to help the University do three things that are its primary mission: Education, Innovation, and Community Outreach through economic development," said Dr. Harvey Stenger.

The legislation is especially important to scientists at BU who are working on creating cost-effective solar power cells.

Usually these cells are very expensive to build, but these might prove to be a viable option for companies to buy in the future.

"As I travel all across New York and I see the work that's being done at the labs at our colleges and universities, especially right here at Binghamton University, I see that our students and our researchers are really doing incredible things," said Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand (D-NY).

"And this act will spur new, high paying, highly skilled jobs here in the Southern Tier," said Stenger.

The legislation will create an "American Innovation Bank" that will be used to help universities develop and commercialize their ideas, inventions, and concepts.

"Many of our universities and research institutions lack the resources to help turn their scientific breakthroughs into high-tech products and jobs," said Gillibrand.

In addition to being able to use the money for hiring researchers, which will be distributed through grants, the universities will be able to create or strengthen funds aimed at proving to potential investors that their research can be practically and concretely used.

"When I see this much talent, innovation, and vision, I know we can have a thriving economy for generations to come," said Gillibrand.

The actual awarding of the grants will be through a competitive, peer-reviewed process and give priority to institutions of higher education.