Washington, D.C. – U.S. Senator Catherine Cortez Masto (D-Nev.) cosponsored legislation that allows small businesses to gain access to premier facilities at the Department of Energy’s National Laboratories. Introduced by Senator Chris Coons (D-Del.), the Small Businesses Partnering with National Labs Act will spur business innovation and stimulate a culture of private-public collaboration in the energy sector.
“Nevada’s businesses are the backbone of our communities, and they deserve every support possible to remain competitive in a 21st century economy. Securing critical resources from national labs – like unique facilities and expertise – are crucial elements to ensure our leadership in developing clean energy technology. I’m proud to support legislation that expands collaboration and resource sharing so we can spearhead groundbreaking projects and grow Nevada’s economy.”
In addition to Senators Cortez Masto and Coons, U.S. Senators James Risch (R-Idaho), Cory Gardner (R-Colo.) and Tina Smith (D-Minn.) also cosponsored this legislation.
Small businesses are the lifeblood of the American economy. However, the cost of investing in necessary but expensive capital equipment often prohibits small businesses from pursuing truly innovative ideas and developing groundbreaking products. In order to address these challenges, the Small Businesses Partnering with National Labs Act authorizes a small business voucher program that will allow small businesses to conduct feasibility studies and analyze the innovation potential of new technologies by accessing facilities and expertise at the national labs. The bill also streamlines the application and approval process for vouchers, eliminating barriers that prevent small businesses from exploring the potential of new technologies. This bill builds on new legislation recently introduced by Senator Cortez Masto, the Small Business Innovation Voucher Act, which would promote similar partnerships throughout the economy by creating an Innovation Voucher program at the Small Business Administration.
Full text of the bill is available here.