Schumer, Gillibrand, Brindisi: Just-Signed, Bipartisan End-Of-Year Omnibus Legislation Includes $278 Million for Rome Lab; Federal Funding Will Be Used to Further Revolutionize UAS & Quantum Technology
The Air Force Research Laboratory In Rome Will Receive Over $278M In Funding For Fiscal Year 2021 -- More Than $37M Above The President's Budget Request & $6M More Than Fiscal Year 2020
Reps Directly Secured Funding For Rome Lab To Advance Groundbreaking Unmanned Aerial Systems (UAS) & Quantum Tech; Say Funding Boost Will Supercharge World-Class Capabilities
Reps: Funding Will Keep Rome Lab At The Military's Epicenter Of UAS & Quantum Technology, While Boosting Mohawk Valley's Economy
Continuing their fierce advocacy for scientific innovation in Upstate New York, U.S. Senator Charles E. Schumer, U.S. Senator Kirsten Gillibrand and U.S. Congressman Anthony Brindisi today announced that they have secured $278,889,000 in federal funding for the Air Force Research Laboratory in Rome (Rome Lab) in the just-signed end-of-year omnibus legislation. The total amount includes specific provisions the reps pushed for, including $10 million to further develop a Department of Defense (DoD)/Federal Unmanned Aircraft System Traffic Management (UTM) testbed and prototype in collaboration with the NY UAS Test Site, $10 million for the initial design and construction for a first-of-its-kind large wide area Quantum Wide Area Network (QWAN), and $10 million in funding to the "Quantum Information Science Innovation Center,' also known as The Innovare Advancement Center in Rome.
"This federal funding is a green light for DoD to supercharge its investment in just the kind of cutting-edge UAS and quantum technology that is happening at Rome Lab. The nation that innovates fastest and best in these technologies will be the superpower of the next century and I am beyond excited to help make Rome Lab a central part of that effort," said Senator Schumer. "Not only has Rome Lab delivered real results in developing and enhancing our nation's defense capabilities through tech, they have shown a commitment to employing local residents with good-paying jobs and partnering with local business to advance their work. This infusion of funding will ensure that the talented people that work there will help our nation stay ahead of our international competitors in these critically important fields."
"This federal funding will enable Rome Lab to continue developing ground-breaking technologies to support our nation's defense, support the Mohawk Valley economy, and bolster more than one thousand local jobs," said Senator Gillibrand. "The people who work at Rome Lab represent the best of New York ingenuity and I'm excited to support them as they continue making America a worldwide leader in technological innovation."
"Rome Lab, the Mohawk Valley, and New York's 22nd district at large play a crucial role in maintaining a strong national defense," Congressman Brindisi said. "I worked with Democrats and Republicans to pass bipartisan legislation that includes a significant investment in Rome Lab and Central New York's defense industry. With this bill's help, we can keep our country safe, build upon our reputation as an industry leader, and create good-paying jobs along the way. I will continue to fight to bring taxpayer dollars back to this community."
"Rome Lab is one of the nation's premier research facilities leading cutting edge research in quantum computing, neuromorphic computing, machine learning, artificial intelligence, cyber security and unmanned aerial systems. Senator Schumer is a super charged advocate driven by the impact the lab's work has on our Nation's strength and resilience," said MC Chruscicki, CNY Defense Alliance Executive Director. "The funding is critical to the development of the CNY high tech-eco-system and innovation led by the men and women at Rome Lab."
Located in Oneida County, one of Rome Lab's primary focuses is gathering and processing cyber intelligence. Since 1997, it has been the USAF's "Superlab" and is considered the nation's premier research organization for Command, Control, Communications, Cyber and Intelligence (C4I) technologies. The lab focuses on developing information technology for air, space and ground systems, in addition to partnering with other federal agencies, universities, private industry and other state and local governments. Schumer, Gillibrand, and Brindisi have been especially supportive of the Lab's quantum computing research in recent years, helping secure tens of millions of dollars that helped fund the "Quantum Information Science Innovation Center' in Rome, which opened earlier this year. The "open campus," also known as The Innovare Advancement Center, is a collaboration between researchers from the Air Force, Department of Defense (DOD), government, industry, small business community, and academia. Additionally, Schumer announced last year that Rome Lab would serve as DOD's leading representative on an initiative tasked with promoting the quantum computing industry nationwide.
Rome Lab is also a source of growth for the regional economy and a major source of employment. According to the U.S. Air Force's 2019 economic impact analysis, Rome Lab employed nearly 1,200 workers with an annual payroll of over $145 million and generated over $460 million in regional economic activity last year. The U.S. Air Force's economic impact study can be found here. Because of Rome Lab's strong commitment to excellence in developing and enhancing this nation's cybersecurity infrastructure, as well as its commitment to employing local residents with good-paying jobs, Schumer, Gillibrand, and Brindisi have long fought to ensure Rome Labs has what it needs to succeed and maintain its strong workforce.
Earlier this year, the representatives helped to secure a $13.15 million Army Corps contract to construct perimeter security at Rome Lab. In the Fiscal Years 2018 and 2019 defense budgets, the representatives helped deliver $243 million and $245 million for Rome Lab's operations and personnel, respectively. That funding included over $13 million directly secured by the senators for Rome Lab to establish critical components of its "Quantum Information Science Innovation Center,'. In the 2020 defense budget, representatives secured $272 million for Rome Lab, a $27 million increase over 2019's level and $34 million above the president's budget request.