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U.S. Reps. Randy Hultgren (R-Dist. 14) and Dan Lipinski (D-Dist. 3) recently launched the Congressional Prize Caucus, which was formed to increase awareness and support further action for prize competitions, a crucial tool to spur innovation, engage citizen solvers, address tough problems and advance core missions.
"I’m a firm believer in enlisting the private sector to innovate in all areas of discovery, such as space exploration and health care, and prize competitions are one way to spur research and excitement around the big issues facing our nation," Hultgren said. “Private foundations have been able to tackle problems in ways the government can’t always do. What’s exciting about these competitions is how they knock down the barriers to entry, like applying for grants, which can discourage the participation of underrepresented groups, inhibiting innovation and a broader participation in our high-tech economy. The government can learn much from these competitions and share best practices to further leverage federal investments in R&D. Prize competitions facilitate great collaborations involving high school teams and scientists at the beginning of their careers. Young people can take the reins and see how their hard work can pay off and improve lives.”
Born and raised in Illinois, and having spent more than 15 years serving Illinois and its citizens at multiple levels of government, Hultgren's 14th Congressional District represents McHenry, Lake, Kendall, Kane, DuPage, DeKalb and Will Counties.