Today, the bipartisan and bicameral Innovators to Entrepreneurs Act of 2019 was re-introduced by Representatives Dan Lipinski (D-IL), along with House Science, Space, and Technology Committee Ranking Member Rank Lucas (R-OK), Chairwoman Eddie Bernice Johnson (D-TX), Rep. Daniel Webster (R-FL), and Senators Chris Coons (D-DE) and Todd Young (R-IN). This bill enables broader participation in the successful National Science Foundation Innovation Corps (I-Corps) program and provides additional training for innovators to learn how to turn their research into new products and businesses.
The Innovators to Entrepreneurs Act of 2019, H.R. 539, 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.
“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 Rep. Lipinski.
“The I-Corps program developed at the National Science Foundation is a superb example of a federal program that leverages a very small investment in the ingenuity of our nation’s STEM researchers to spur innovation and generate economic growth,” said Rep. Johnson, Chairwoman of the House Committee on Science, Space, and Technology. “I am happy to join my colleagues in supporting this bill that continues to build on an already strong program.”
“I-Corps moves American research and innovation from the lab to the market where new technology can benefit consumers and businesses,” said Rep. Lucas, Ranking Member of the House Committee on Science, Space, and Technology. “Expanding this program boosts American competitiveness in critical fields and promotes job growth. Small businesses are the backbone of our economy and this bill gives innovators the tools needed to become entrepreneurs.”
“This bill expands upon the time-tested I-Corps program through adding a course for commercialization-ready participants,” said Rep. 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.”
Training our most promising entrepreneurs to navigate the transition from the laboratory to the marketplace supports U.S.-grown startups and small businesses and increases our competitiveness on the global stage,” said Senator Coons. “We wisely invest billions of taxpayer dollars every year into scientific research and development, and this legislation builds a bridge for our best research to directly benefit society.”
“Entrepreneurs fuel Indiana’s small business community and have the power to transform our lives,” said Senator Young. “This legislation will support Hoosier entrepreneurs by investing in research and innovation, and empowering individuals to turn their ideas into products and businesses.”