US Senator Ben Ray Luján gets billions for national labs in landmark innovation bill

The United States House of Representatives joined the United States Senate in passing the bipartisan Chips + Science Act of 2022 – landmark legislation aimed at boosting American innovation and competitiveness.

This legislation represents the most significant investment in U.S. science and technology leadership in generations.

While the entire Chips + Science Act is a massive achievement for American innovation, US Senator Ben Ray Luján’s provisions are among the most important for the competition and security needs of the United States, which adds to his proven record in favor of New Mexicans in a divided Senate.

“Today, Congress made it clear that our national laboratories are essential to advancing our scientific and technological leadership on the world stage,” said Senator Ben Ray Luján. “This bipartisan legislation includes many victories for New Mexico and our country that I have fought hard to achieve.

“This legislation invests $16.5 billion for our national laboratories, including Sandia and Los Alamos laboratories in New Mexico, for critical research and development in key technologies, in addition to nearly $15 billion that I have obtained for the necessary updates and upgrades to improve their ability to face the 21st century. challenges of the century. The CHIPS and Science Act also expands successful programs to foster the next generation of science and technology entrepreneurs and gives small businesses access to state-of-the-art facilities at national laboratories.

“Through these historic investments, our National Laboratories will continue their leadership in developing cutting-edge technologies, maintaining our national security and global competitiveness while creating more skilled, well-paying jobs in New Mexico and throughout the country. country.”


Ministry of Energy

  • $16.5 billion for DOE science and innovation, based on an amendment drafted by Luján to strengthen DOE research and development efforts in 10 key technology areas, including clean energy and energy efficiency, advanced manufacturing, biotechnology, artificial intelligence, and life sciences quantum information. Last year, Senator Luján succeeded past this amendment with broad bipartisan support from the Senate Committee on Commerce, Science and Technology.

This includes:

    • $11.2 billion for DOE research, development, and demonstration activities and energy-related supply chain activities in key technology areas.
      • This funding will help address societal challenges such as workforce development, climate change, national security, manufacturing productivity, and equitable access to education and opportunity.
    • $40.5 million for the Energy Security and Innovation Partnerships Act that Luján introduced and passed while serving in the House and co-leading the Senate.
      • This provision creates a new nonprofit foundation to channel private sector investment in support of DOE’s mission and to accelerate the commercialization of innovative energy technologies, such as next-generation batteries, low-carbon fuels and advanced materials.
    • $975 million for the law on research in microelectronics for energy innovation that Luján co-sponsored in the Senate.
      • Accelerates American innovation and leadership in microchip technology by establishing two new microchip research and development programs within the Department of Energy.
    • $125 million for the Legislation for Leveraging Our National Laboratories to Develop Tomorrow’s Technology Leaders, which Luján drafted, introduced, and brought into passage while she served in the House.
      • This supports the Lab Embedded Entrepreneurship program, which embeds entrepreneurial scientists and engineers in national labs to perform early-stage R&D to launch energy or manufacturing companies. a program currently being piloted in New Mexico.
    • $125 million for promoting innovation in small businesses through partnerships with the National Laboratories Act, an effort that Luján also led to pass in the House.
      • This provision provides vouchers for small businesses to access top-notch facilities at national laboratories, spurring innovation and stimulating public-private collaborations.
    • $250 million for a regional clean energy innovation program, an effort led alongside Senator Catherine Cortez Masto.
      • Through targeted investments, this geographically distributed program supports public-private partnerships for the R&D and commercialization of various clean energy technologies.
  • $14.7 billion for the infrastructure and modernization of the National Laboratory, which is inspired by the decision of Senator Restore and modernize our National Laboratories Act. During his tenure in the House, Luján had introduced and passed this legislation.
    • From upgrading facilities and roads to investing in the latest scientific instruments, this funding will not only support the technological capacity of the laboratories, but also create local jobs in the construction and supply of equipment.
  • $250 million for a consortium of national laboratories to prepare for and respond to emerging biological threats, such as the COVID-19 pandemic.

National Science Foundation:

  • Promotes greater diversity in research and development
    • Over 7 years, this bill doubles the proportion of NSF grants and scholarships for states that do not currently receive a significant portion of R&D dollars, also known as EPSCoR states, such as New Mexico .

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