Bennet Releases Progress Report on Job Creation and Innovation Recommendations from Colorado Business Leaders

One Year Update to Colorado Competes Report Presented to Bennet, Udall, Hickenlooper

Colorado U.S. Senator Michael Bennet today released a report outlining progress Colorado has made in several areas since Colorado business and academic leaders made recommendations to Bennet, Senator Mark Udall and Governor John Hickenlooper on ideas that can help create an environment in Colorado and the nation where innovators and  entrepreneurs can thrive.

“Innovation is the key to remaining competitive in the 21st century and to improving job and wage growth for the millions of unemployed and underemployed Americans,” said Bennet. “That is why we called upon innovators in Colorado to help come up with a host of ways by which we can build an ecosystem that will support new jobs in new companies based on new technology and new ideas.  In the year since their recommendations, Colorado has seen several successes that will help brand it as a leader in innovation, technological development, and economic growth where high-tech industries like bioscience, aerospace, software and IT, and new energy technologies come to succeed.”

Bennet’s report, Colorado Competes: One Year Later, highlights progress in several areas that were recommended in the original Colorado Competes report including improved federal and state collaboration, a successful bid for a regional U.S. Patent Office, regulatory reform, and new paths to bring capital into the state.  Highlights include crowdfunding, which allows regular people to invest in small, young or startup business, reforms to the Food and Drug Administration that produce a more efficient system for breakthrough drugs and medical devices to make it to market faster and a series of joint efforts among state and federal leaders to support Colorado bids for new jobs.  The report also maps out the need to move forward on a number of agenda items including education reform, a 21st century energy policy and comprehensive immigration reform.  

“Coloradans for an Innovation Economy” came together last year at Bennet’s request to identify ways to promote economic competitiveness at the state and national levels through a greater focus on innovation and cross-sector collaboration.  The group includes leaders from business and academia and was co-chaired by Mark Sirangelo, head of Sierra Nevada Space Systems; Holli Riebel, President and CEO of the Colorado Bioscience Association; and Ron Sega, Vice President for Energy and Environment and Woodward Professor of Systems Engineering.

The working group last June presented Bennet, Senator Mark Udall and Governor John Hickenlooper with the Colorado Competes report that included policy recommendations and action items where federal and state governments can focus attention. All three elected officials sent a letter last summer, along with a copy of the report, to President Obama to help inform his jobs plan.

More information on the Colorado Competes report and Bennet’s progress report can be found on Bennet’s website at