University City Science Center President & CEO Stephen S. Tang, Ph.D., MBA, advocated for more effective ways to maximize the nation’s return on its investment in federally funded research and development, at a hearing of the U.S. Senate Committee on Commerce, Science & Transportation today in Washington, D.C.
The hearing, chaired by Sen. John D. (Jay) Rockefeller IV (D-WV), examined why the federal government must continue to invest in R&D, technology transfer and STEM education, and how these investments drive innovation and the U.S. economy.
During his remarks, Dr. Tang supported the re-authorization of the America COMPETES Act, as well as an increase in the allocation of existing Federal funding for translational research, commercialization, and tech transfer by universities and companies alike, as a complement to the nation’s historic emphasis on basic research.
Dr. Tang also called for the expansion of the ability of tech-based economic development organizations like the Science Center, which are not degree-granting academic institutions, to apply for and secure Federal grants from the National Science Foundation and other agencies.
“These moves would enable organizations like ours to ultimately help speed the acceleration of cutting-edge technologies from lab to market,” he explained.
Dr. Tang became President and CEO of the Science Center in 2008 and a Team Pennsylvania Foundation board member. The nation’s oldest and largest urban research park, the Science Center is celebrating its 50th anniversary in 2013.
Dr. Tang holds a Ph.D. in chemical engineering from Lehigh University and an MBA from The Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania. He has an extensive background in technology commercialization and business development. Previously, he led a company through venture funding and an initial public offering, and later served as a senior executive with a large life sciences company as it acquired and integrated smaller start-ups.
In 2011, Dr. Tang was appointed to the U.S. Department of Commerce’s Innovation Advisory Board. This 15-member panel, established under the last reauthorization of America COMPETES, guided a study of U.S. economic competitiveness and innovation, to help inform national policies at the heart of U.S. job creation and global competitiveness.
The COMPETES report “made several thoughtful recommendations, and the President has since issued a number of Executive Orders that have drawn attention to this subject,” Tang noted. “However, I believe that additional legislative action is needed to translate these ideas into concrete results.”
About the Science Center
The University City Science Center is a dynamic hub for innovation, and entrepreneurship and technology development in the Greater Philadelphia region. It provides business incubation, programming, lab and office facilities, and support services for entrepreneurs, start-ups, and growing and established companies. The Science Center was the first, and remains the largest, urban research park in the United States. Since it was founded in 1963, graduate organizations and current residents of the Science Center’s Port business incubators have created more than 15,000 jobs that remain in the Greater Philadelphia region today and contribute more than $9 billion to the regional economy annually. The Science Center is celebrating its 50th anniversary in 2013. For more information about the Science Center, go to www.sciencecenter.org.