House Passed National Labs Modernization Bill Co-Sponsored by Future Caucus Members

Millennial Action Project praises the post-partisan policymaking and collaboration demonstrated by a bipartisan group in the House of Representatives and Washington’s most ideologically disparate think tanks. On July 22, 2014, the House passed bipartisan bill HR 5120 Department of Energy Laboratory Modernization and Technology Transfer Act of 2014.

Future Caucus Member Rep. Derek Kilmer (D-WA)

Future Caucus Member Rep. Derek Kilmer (D-WA)

The bill is based in part on Turning the Page: Reimaging the National Labs in the 21st Century Innovation Economy, a policy report produced by the Center for Clean Energy Innovation (CCEI), the Heritage Foundation and the Center for American Progress (CAP). Matthew Stepp, Executive Director of the Information Technology and Innovation Foundation (ITIF) and Policy Adviser for Millennial Action Project, was a driving force behind this bill’s collaborative efforts.

This legislation is a model for bipartisan, innovation-based institutional reforms that are desperately needed to reshape America’s innovation enterprise and national lab system, while enhancing economic and job growth.
— Matthew Stepp

H.R. 5120, co-sponsored by Future Caucus Member Rep. Derek Kilmer (D-WA) and Reps. Randy Hultgren (R-IL), Chaka Fattah (D-PA), Alan Nunnelee (R-MS) and several others, seeks to improve management of the National Laboratories, enhance technology commercialization and facilitate public-private partnerships that encourage economic and job growth. It’s also the companion bill to the America INNOVATES Act (S. 1973) sponsored by Senators Chris Coons (D-DE) and Marco Rubio (R-FL) and introduced earlier this year.

While the pace of innovation and the complexity of national challenges have accelerated, the labs have not kept stride. Although private-sector innovation will remain the cornerstone of economic growth, lab scientists and engineers do important work that can be of significant future use to private enterprise. Examples include commercial global positioning system applications and genetics analysis.
— "Turning the Page" Executive Summary