In letter to Commerce Secretary Raimondo, Tester continues call to invest in innovation in rural America
Tester: “Great ideas don’t just come from big cities along the coasts”
(U.S. Senate) — As part of his continued efforts to bring a Regional Technology and Innovation Hub to Montana, U.S. Senator Jon Tester today urged Secretary of Commerce Gina Raimondo and the Biden Administration to take into consideration feedback from Montanans on why the state should be selected for a rural Tech Hub.
“Too many folks in Washington don’t understand the untapped potential of rural America,” said Tester. “That’s why I’m continuing to press the Administration to bring a Regional Tech Hub to Montana, so that Big Sky Country has access to resources that will allow innovation to flourish in every corner of our state.”
In his letter, Tester highlighted his recent roundtable in Missoula where he spoke with attendees from Montana’s colleges and universities, tech startups, and accelerators about the impact a Regional Tech Hub would have on Montana. He urged the Administration to take Montanans’ thoughtful suggestions into account.
“Last month, I hosted an event in Missoula to draw attention to the Regional Tech Hub opportunity and to jumpstart efforts to bring a Tech Hub to Montana… I couldn’t be more pleased with the result. In reviewing our submissions, you will find deeply thoughtful suggestions on how to make the Tech Hubs a successful initiative for the country and especially how to build thriving innovation ecosystems that work in rural America.”
Tester also emphasized how he played a leading role in crafting the CHIPS legislation to ensure that rural America is not excluded from tech innovation opportunities.
“As Montana’s only member of the CHIPS and Science conference committee, I fought hard for the Tech Hub provisions throughout the negotiations. Then, as the only Montanan serving on an Appropriations Committee, I successfully worked to secure $500 million to launch the initiative this year. All throughout those efforts, I fought hard to make sure the initiative included real opportunities to give tech innovation a major boost in rural America. Great ideas don’t just come from big cities along the coasts. For America to stay at the forefront we need to support innovation ecosystems wherever they can thrive, and that includes rural Montana.”
Tester has led the charge on bringing a Regional Technology and Innovation Hub to Montana. In February, Tester hosted a roundtable at Missoula College in Missoula to discuss next steps for securing a regional Montana Technology and Innovation Hub, and the innovation and economic growth it would bring to the state.
Last year, Congress passed the bipartisan CHIPS and Science Act that will invest in high-tech manufacturing across the country, strengthen technology supply chains, and bolster development of cutting-edge research in the fields of science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM). Tester was the only member of the Montana congressional delegation to serve on the conference committee that negotiated the bill.
Among Tester’s key achievements in negotiating the legislation were provisions that establish Regional Technology and Innovation Hubs in key areas across the country. He championed an amendment to ensure that a rural state like Montana will have an opportunity to secure Tech Hub funding, which could ultimately bring hundreds of millions of dollars in new federal funding to the state.
You can read the Senator’s full letter HERE.