U.S. Sen. Todd Young (R-Ind.) said Indiana should be a strong competitor for a new regional technology hub created in his Endless Frontier Act.
Young’s legislation, which passed the Senate earlier this month, is headed to the U.S. House.
The measure invests billions of dollars in key technology areas and creates regional tech hubs, spread across the country.
Young said that will help ensure the nation’s venture capital isn’t concentrated in just a few states on the coasts, as it is now.
“Simply put, too many of our citizens and the places that they call home are being left out or left behind," Young said. "And we need to make sure that they can fully benefit from this rising tide of 21st century dynamic economic growth.”
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Gov. Eric Holcomb said Indiana is well-positioned to benefit from Young’s bill.
“This ecosystem is already in place, already focused on training that talent pipeline,” Holcomb said.
Once the bill passes, the federal government will spend the next five years deciding where the regional tech hubs will be located.
As the legislation moves to the U.S. House, it faces sharp criticism from – among others – U.S. Rep. Jim Banks (R-Columbia City). The Banks-led Republican Study Committee said the bill is too expensive and doesn't do enough to protect American intellectual property from theft by China.
Young deflected that criticism, saying Banks addressed an earlier version of the bill that doesn't reflect what was passed by the Senate.
"He has been vocal and loud, but does not seem conversant in the details of it," Young said.
Young's co-sponsor is U.S. Sen. Chuck Schumer (D-NY), the Senate majority leader.