Last week's State of the Union address consistently circled back to the notion that technical literacy holds the key to the nation's economic prosperity and the academic advancement of its youth. New Mexico Representative Ben Ray Lujan was already at work on this agenda weeks ahead of the speech, however, ramping up activities with the bipartisan Technology Transfer Caucus he spearheads.
The assembly was originally created following a 2011 Presidential Memorandum outlining a five-year plan for furthering private sector growth via aggressive federal investment in technology transfer projects. Lujan has been particularly active in liaising with the Department of Energy, which hosts a number of key research projects at the Los Alamos National Laboratory in his home district.
"What I expect to see this year, and what we will press to see, is the implementation of the response to the presidential directive on tech transfer - and see how we can support that from a legislative perspective," Lujan told Politic365. "We need to make sure that we are able to navigate through the 'valley of death' and get tech to a commercial application."
Earlier this month, Lujan spoke before the House Energy and Commerce Committee and offered his opinions on how stronger federal support for tech transfer projects could deliver faster and more effective solutions in areas ranging from energy conservation to nuclear defense.