Directory Search

Login | Not a member? Join the chamber.



  • Share:
May 08, 2018
MINNEAPOLIS -   This week, the President and CEO of the Minneapolis Regional Chamber, Jonathan Weinhagen, is traveling to Washington, D.C. to meet with lawmakers about the importance of federal research funding as part of the national Business for Federal Research Funding (BFRF) Coalition. The BFRF Coalition is a broad-based coalition of more than 75 U.S. chambers of commerce and business associations that advocate for increased research funding in the federal budget and bring heightened awareness to the critical economic impact that federal research funding has on the nation’s competitiveness. Formed by the Greater Boston Chamber in 2014, BFRF represents a strong cross-section of the nation’s business community, with broad geographic diversity among its members. A full list of coalition members is available here, along with additional information about Business for Federal Research Funding.

“Federal investment in research is fueling the creation of jobs for millions of Americans and spurring key innovation and technological advances,” said Weinhagen.  “We and other Chambers across the country believe it is important to let our congressional leaders know that investing in federal research is a critical public policy priority for local business communities. We in the MSP region understand the importance of investing in research. We have the largest research institution in the state, the University of Minnesota, in our region. Without funding, they would not be able to discover new innovations that not only advance Minnesota, but the nation and the world.”

While in D.C., Coalition members will be engaging in a series of meetings with members of Congress, including a bi-partisan Senate Roundtable discussion hosted by Senator Cory Gardner (R-CO) and Senator Gary Peters (D-MI); a meeting with issue experts at the Wilson Center to look at global approaches to funding scientific and medical research; a meeting with Dr. Walter Copan, Director of the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) and Dr. Frances Córdova, Director of the National Science Foundation (NSF); and meets with members and staff from the House and Senate Committees on Appropriations as well as individual representatives and senators.  

The Fiscal Year 2019 appropriations process is now underway, and the Coalition is urging Congress to continue to support critical research accounts in the FY19 budget. BFRF focuses on key agencies such as the National Institutes of Health; the National Science Foundation; NASA; and the Departments of Agriculture, Defense, Energy, and Homeland Security.

The federal government provides nearly 60 percent of funding for basic scientific research, funding that has played a major role in significant scientific breakthroughs and new technologies, from the Internet to communications satellites and defenses against disease. This activity produces innovations that are at the root of countless companies, products, technologies, and jobs.

Among the BFRF Coalition members participating in the D.C. fly-in are representatives from the Greater Boston Chamber of Commerce (MA), the Metro Atlanta Chamber of Commerce (GA), the Colorado Business Roundtable (CO), the Chamber of Business & Industry of Centre County (PA), the Dayton Development Coalition (OH), the Minneapolis Regional Chamber (MN), the Brooklyn Chamber of Commerce (NY), the Chamber of Commerce for Greater Philadelphia (PA), the Iowa City Area Chamber of Commerce (IA), the Greater Kansas City Chamber of Commerce (MO, KS), and the Greater Des Moines Partnership (IA).  

About the Minneapolis Regional Chamber
The Minneapolis Regional Chamber is the largest and most diverse local business association in the MSP region. Founded in 1881, the Chamber today includes more than 1,500 member organizations.

The Chamber is the region's chief leading advocate to improve economy and quality of life. We bring people and organizations together around issues that matter to our economic competitiveness, including workforce development, education, transit and housing. Through a unified voice, we convey the needs and priorities of our region to decision makers and urge action to constantly improve our standing.

Devan Finn, Communications Manager