Rep. Lipinski Launches "Doing Business with Argonne and Fermi"

U.S. Rep. Dan Lipinski (IL-3), a longtime supporter of creating more economic development and jobs around the country’s national laboratories, kicked off the inaugural “Doing Business with Argonne and Fermilab” event at Argonne National Laboratory near Lemont. The daylong event to make small businesses and start-up firms aware of the business opportunities with Argonne and Fermilab drew more than 140 people representing 90 local companies from the area, including several from the Third Congressional District.

“We are extremely fortunate to have not just one, but two of the country’s finest Department of Energy national laboratories in our region: Argonne, which is located in my district, and Fermilab. As a senior Democrat on the Science, Space, and Technology Committee and the ranking member of the Research and Technology Subcommittee, I am committed to strengthening these research labs and making them even stronger economic engines for the area,” Lipinski said. “Unfortunately, not many people know about the business opportunities at these labs. I am hopeful that events such as this will help small business owners and start-up companies learn more about the wide array of opportunities available at both facilities. Our national labs play an essential role in fulfilling the country’s science and research needs, but they can only be successful by having strong relationships with local businesses.”  

The workshop and similar events in the future will increase awareness of the Argonne and Fermilab resources available to local entrepreneurs as they launch new products. Meanwhile, these events would also allow the labs to expand on the roughly $200 million they invest each year on contracts for goods and services from area businesses, spurring economic growth and generating new jobs in the surrounding communities. Sessions held throughout the day focused on procurement, technology development, and commercialization.

Long a proponent of encouraging the transfer of cutting-edge research into new products, companies and jobs, Rep. Lipinski earlier this monthcosponsored legislation to accelerate the commercialization of federally-funded research at national labs, universities, and research facilities. The bill will assist innovators and entrepreneurs in taking a promising idea into the marketplace, where it can create more jobs and economic activity at the local level.

Joining Rep. Lipinski to launch the new initiative at the Aug. 21 event were U.S. Rep. Bill Foster (IL-11), whose district also includes Argonne, and U.S. Rep. Randy Hultgren (IL-14), who represents Fermilab. 

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