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Congresswoman Michelle Lujan Grisham

Representing the 1st District of New Mexico

Rep. Lujan Grisham Passes Three Economic Development Amendments in NDAA

May 24, 2018
Press Release

Rep. Lujan Grisham Passes Three Economic Development Amendments in NDAA

Washington, D.C. - Representative Michelle Lujan Grisham (NM-01) delivered remarks on the Floor of the House of Representatives to urge passage of three amendments to the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) that will re-energize domestic manufacturing, create high-paying jobs, and increase economic development in New Mexico.

They will be included in the final NDAA package that will be voted on today. The House is expected to pass the package with strong bipartisan support.

The three amendments would provide defense laboratory personnel with business education, entrepreneurial sabbaticals, and new opportunities to partner with universities and businesses in order to facilitate the commercialization of innovative DOD-developed technologies.

  • Open Campus Amendment: The Army Research Lab’s Open Campus program allows collaboration between the defense laboratory, industry, and academia. This amendment authorizes the Air Force Research Lab to create a similar open campus initiative which fosters innovation and provides for rapid transition of technologies into products by entrepreneurs. 
  • Entrepreneurial Sabbatical Amendment: The amendment allows defense laboratory personnel to take unpaid sabbaticals to work for private sector firms in order to build their research for commercial proposes.
  • Entrepreneurial Education Amendment: Often, government researchers are technical experts in their field, but do not have the skills to transition those technologies to a successful business model.  This amendment authorizes the Secretary of Defense to support entrepreneurial education programs for defense laboratory personnel.

Below is a link to the video and transcript of her remarks:

Click here to watch the full remarks.

“New Mexico is home to the Kirtland Air Force Research Laboratory that develops ground-breaking technologies that support our men and women in the armed forces.

“These technologies often have a range of commercial applications that can re-energize domestic manufacturing, create high-paying jobs, and increase economic development in our state which has the second highest unemployment rate in the nation.

“High-speed internet servers, GPS, electric vehicles, and even microwave ovens are just a few examples of transformational technologies that were originally developed by the federal government.

“My amendments would help facilitate the commercialization of innovative DOD-developed technologies by investing in the scientists, engineers, and mathematicians serving in our military laboratories.

“By providing laboratory personnel with business education, entrepreneurial sabbaticals, and new opportunities to partner with universities and businesses, we can make cutting-edge technologies more widely available to American businesses and consumers, grow our economy, and ensure that the U.S. leads the world in innovation.

“I urge my colleagues to support my amendments, and I yield back.”