Sen. Hutchison Applauds Texas’ Leadership in Innovation & Science at 9th Annual TAMEST Conference

January 13, 2012

HOUSTON, TX– Today, U.S. Senator Kay Bailey Hutchison, Texas’ senior Senator and Ranking Member of the Senate Commerce, Science and Transportation Committee, spoke at The Academy of Medicine, Engineering, and Science of Texas (TAMEST) annual conference at the Omni Houston Hotel. Sen. Hutchison spoke about Texas’ leadership in innovation and science and the important role TAMEST has played in spurring collaboration among Texas’ world-class research institutions.

 “In this constrained budget environment, collaboration has never been more vital. The major strides that TAMEST has made to foster greater collaboration should serve as an example to the country of how we can get the most research value for the taxpayer dollar,” Sen. Hutchison said. “Texas attracts world class talent, and we are able to realize the full potential of their work because of our state’s leading institutions’ commitment to work collaboratively. The multiplier effect of these collaborative partnerships has helped establish Texas as an innovation leader nationally.”

“For the more than 200 men and women who make up TAMEST, their contributions have been instrumental in helping to propel Texas to national and international prominence in the STEM fields,” Sen. Hutchison said. “In addition to developing up-and-coming scientists, engineers, and inventors, TAMEST has been vital in creating an ‘Innovation Infrastructure’ in Texas that is producing society-changing breakthroughs.”

Sen. Hutchison also discussed the importance of Congress prioritizing spending that is fundamental to both our economic recovery and long-term competitiveness. In December 2010, the America COMPETES Act, legislation reauthorizing the two science agencies responsible for supporting basic research, passed the U.S. Congress with overwhelming support.

          “As successful farmers know, you can't eat your seed corn. Likewise, America must continue investing in research to foster the innovation that fuels our economy,” said Sen. Hutchison.

The TAMEST annual two-day conference is designed to bring members together, facilitate greater collaboration among the state’s leading academics, and discuss the future of innovation in Texas.  Speakers at this year’s conference include Nobel Prize Winners Dr. Bruce Beutler, Dr. Samuel Ting, and Dr. Michael Brown, and CEO of Baylor College of Medicine Dr. Paul Klotman and President of Shell Oil Company Marvin Odum.

In 2004, Senator Hutchison and Texas Nobel Laureates Dr. Michael Brown and the late Dr. Richard Smalley founded TAMEST. Created as a Texas version of the National Academies, TAMEST consists of the state’s 10 living Nobel Laureates and 200-plus members of the Institute of Medicine, National Academy of Engineering, and the National Academy of Sciences. TAMEST is dedicated to increasing national awareness of research and development at Texas colleges and universities, fostering collaboration among institutions, and attracting world-class talent to Texas. Click here for more information about TAMEST.

Click here to read Senator Hutchison’s op-ed in the Houston Chronicle about how TAMEST is helping Texas lead the way in innovation.