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Sen. Coons’ bill enabling ongoing funding for Newark-led manufacturing innovation institute to become law

WASHINGTON – The National Defense
Authorization Act (NDAA) conference report that passed the Senate today
includes U.S. Senator Chris Coons’ (D-Del.) bipartisan bill to eliminate a
federal funding limit on the National Institute for Innovation in Manufacturing
Biopharmaceuticals, or NIIMBL, which is headquartered in Newark, Delaware.
Currently slated to exhaust a stream of federal dollars after 2021, NIIMBL,
under this legislation, could continually earn valuable federal funding, which
to date has leveraged $129 million from industry. The bill, which passed the
House Dec. 11, now heads to the president’s desk and is expected to become law
this week.

Newark-based NIIMBL supports
industry-leading research with 130 members from industry, academic institutes,
nonprofit organizations, and states. The manufacturing hub, which could extend
its $70 million federal grant thanks to Sen. Coons’ bill, connects local
manufacturers to national resources to spur local innovation. 

Many of the nation’s top companies
and universities in the biopharmaceutical field have organized through Delaware
to develop vaccines, gene therapies, and cancer drugs that aim to result in
lifesaving cures and medical treatments. These innovations have the potential
not only to save lives, but create new high-skill, high-paying jobs for
Delawareans.

“It brings me great pride
that Delawareans are leading the world in the development, testing, and
production of medicines of the future,” Senator Coons said. “With
this bill, and the vital federal funding opportunity it creates, Delaware’s
innovators will continue to not only save lives, but also create jobs for
generations of high-skilled Delawareans who will manufacture these lifesaving
drugs. Also, other states are empowered to follow Delaware’s lead by forming
new institutes specializing in other vital areas of manufacturing.”

“Passage of this Act
continues our country’s investment in U.S. advanced manufacturing
competitiveness, supports our long-term leadership in innovation, and also
helps drive key activities in Delaware related to the bioeconomy,” said
Dennis Assanis, president of the University of Delaware.
 “This
Act will promote our nation’s economic growth and lead to a more skilled
biomanufacturing workforce.”

“Our Delaware Manufacturing
Association consistently hears from employers on their struggle to find skilled
workers. With advancing technologies, the need to meet the talent demands of
businesses who choose to reside and grow in Delaware is more important than
ever,” said Michael Quaranta, president at the Delaware State
Chamber of Commerce. 
“The passing of the GLAM Act will boost
Delaware’s manufacturing sector not only through creating well-paying jobs but
also by developing and maintaining a skilled workforce.”

Cosponsored by U.S. Sens. Cory
Gardner (R-Colo.), Kirsten Gillibrand (D-N.Y.), Thom Tillis (R-N.C.), Maggie
Hassan (D-N.H.), Gary Peters (D-Mich.), Jerry Moran (R-Kan.), Marco Rubio
(R-Fla.), Amy Klobuchar (D-Minn.), and Susan Collins (R-Maine), the Global Leadership
in Advanced Manufacturing Act, or GLAM Act, was filed as an amendment to the
NDAA. In addition to the support for NIIMBL, this legislation promotes the
development of new Manufacturing USA institutes. 

The Manufacturing USA program is a
national network of 14 public-private partnership institutes with 1,300-member
companies and institutions working to keep the U.S. on the cutting edge of
advanced manufacturing. The institutes have generated $2 billion in
industry-matched funding to transition innovative technologies from lab to
market and to expand the production of goods made in America. 

The bill also embeds a liaison of
the Manufacturing Extension Partnership in each Manufacturing USA institute to
assist with cybersecurity training, workforce development, and technology
transfer for small- and medium-sized manufacturers.

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