The House Committee on Science & Technology recently held a field hearing in North Texas on September 14 entitled “Strengthening Regional Innovation: A Perspective from Northeast Texas.” The hearing marked a rare occurrence in which the Committee conducted a hearing outside of Washington D.C. this year. Ranking Member Ralph Hall (R-Texas) and Chairman Bart Gordon (D-TN) presided over the hearing for the purpose of examining the importance of regional innovation centers to the U.S. economy and global competitiveness.
The hearing included witness testimonies from the Emerging Technology Fund Advisory Committee, Texas Instruments, Hie Electronics, regional universities, community colleges, and more. One of the key findings of the hearing was that local collaboration is an ideal venue to leverage state and federal funding opportunities. Witnesses gave examples of how North Texas educational institutions and technology companies have collaborated on grant projects that have succeeded in promoting technology development, spurring innovation, and creating new jobs.
Technology education and workforce issues were also discussed during the hearing. A witness from the National Math and Science Initiative spoke of the importance of expanding existing government pilot programs for science, technology and mathematics education in K-12 classrooms across the U.S. Furthermore, witnesses outlined the importance of continuing the H1-B visa program to ensure that technology employers have access to the skilled labor force they need to remain competitive in a global economy.
For further details on the hearing, visit the Committee’s website at http://science.house.gov/Publications/hearings_markups.aspx.
The TBC attended this hearing on behalf of the Technology Legislative Task Force. For the remainder of the year, the Task Force will continue to monitor and seek advocacy opportunities at the state and federal levels on technology and life science issues of importance for the North Texas business community.
For more information on the TBC’s Legislative Task Force, contact Jane Edson at email@example.com or (214) 712-1937.