Sen. Chris Coons joined his colleagues on the committee to approve annual appropriations bill Commerce, Justice, Science and Related Agencies, which supports numerous programs that Delaware’s manufacturing and science communities rely on to enhance local economic development, support innovation and conduct their ongoing research.
“This appropriations bill provides critical resources for Delaware,” Coons said. “From investing in our economy; to supporting our colleges, universities and students; to protecting our coastal resources, this bill holds a promise for now and for the future.”
Coons advocated for $15 million to fund the National Institute of Standards and Technology’s Manufacturing USA program. In 2016, the University of Delaware received an award from the Manufacturing USA program to lead the country’s first manufacturing innovation institute focused on biopharmaceutical manufacturing. NIST committed to invest $70 million in this manufacturing institute over five years, and this appropriations bill maintains that commitment The federal investment will be matched by private and other public funds, resulting in a nearly $200 million investment in the new institute.
Coons also fought for $130 million for the Hollings Manufacturing Extension Partnership, the only public-private partnership dedicated to providing technical support and services to small and medium-sized manufacturers. Delaware’s MEP operates through Delaware Technical Community College in partnership with the U.S. Department of Commerce, National Institute of Standards and Technology, the Delaware Office of Economic Development and the Delaware State and local Chambers of Commerce. Coons leads the Manufacturing Jobs for America campaign in the Senate to rally bipartisan support for legislation that would help manufacturers grow and create jobs. Further, Coons also pushed to appropriate funds for the Economic Development Administration at $254 million.
Coons fought to protect Delaware’s natural resource, its coastal and ocean resources, through funding for the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. This includes $85 million for Coastal Management Grants, $7 million for the Marine Debris Program and $25 million for the National Estuarine Research Reserve System. Coons also fought for $65 million for NOAA’s Sea Grant College Program, of which the University of Delaware Lewes campus is a member.