09.21.16

Daines, Hirono Launch Congressional Inventions Caucus

U.S. SENATE — U.S. Senators Steve Daines (R-MT) and Mazie K. Hirono (D-HI) today launched the Congressional Inventions Caucus in the U.S. Senate.                                                          

The Congressional Inventions Caucus will provide a forum for inventors to showcase innovative products, have candid and balanced conversations about barriers to economic growth, and educate members and staff about the innovation ecosystem. In addition, the Caucus will seek to provide a platform for inventors, startups, and businesses (large and small) to communicate with lawmakers in order to strengthen our competitiveness, foster economic growth, and promote innovation right here in America. 

“Over the 12 years I spent at the cloud computing company, RightNow Technologies, I saw firsthand how Montana is becoming a leading hub for innovation and high-tech job growth,”said Senator Daines, Congress’s only chemical engineer. “We need to continue making the economic environment attractive for future entrepreneurs and innovators to succeed in America.” 

“The link between innovation and economic growth and a strong patent system cannot be overstated,” said Senator Hirono, a member of the Senate Small Business and Entrepreneurship Committee. “Last month, I heard from Hawaii students who are on the cutting edge of the science and technology pipeline. I want to make sure that these students see a bright future in Hawaii’s innovation economy, and the bipartisan Inventions Caucus will provide a forum to explore how federal policy can promote good paying U.S. jobs for generations to come.”

Hirono 

Charles Sauer, Co-Director of the Inventors Project with Hirono and Daines at the launch of the Congressional Inventions Caucus in the U.S. Senate. 

Before being elected to Congress, Senator Daines spent 12 years working in the technology sector. He helped grow RightNow Technologies, a Bozeman-based technology company, into a global leader in cloud computing. The company grew rapidly to 17 offices around the world with software products in more than 30 languages. 

Montana leads the nation in business creation, with over 500 of every 100,000 residents starting businesses each month. 

Senator Hirono has been a strong advocate for legislation to strengthen intellectual property protections and promote opportunities for traditionally underrepresented groups in science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) careers. In August, the Senator chaired a Senate Small Business and Entrepreneurship Committee hearing at Maui High School on growing Hawaii’s STEM pipeline, particularly for minorities and women. She also brought U.S. Patent and Trademark Office Regional Director John Cabeca to Hawaii to help Hawaii entrepreneurs navigate the patent system. 

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