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Remarks by U.S. Secretary of Commerce Gina Raimondo at the National Institute for Innovation in Manufacturing Biopharmaceuticals (NIIMBL) National Meeting

The following remarks were pre-recorded.

Hello everybody! It’s great to be here with you at the annual meeting of the National Institute for Innovation in Manufacturing Biopharmaceuticals.

Thank you, Dr. Lee, for that kind introduction. And thank you Senator Coons, Dr. Buckland, Dr. Woodcock and Dr. Marks for your leadership.

Today, I’m excited to announce two new federal awards to NIIMBL that will advance our global competitiveness and strengthen our economic and national security.

But before I do, I want to take a moment to thank you for the incredible role you’ve played in America’s recovery from the pandemic. We wouldn’t be here together today without the extraordinary heroism of the men and women who stood on the frontlines. The doctors, scientists and researchers who dedicated countless hours to help develop vaccines and to manufacture protective equipment in record time. You saved countless American lives. Thank you for your leadership during one of the most difficult chapters in our nation’s history. 

It’s not the first time this community has achieved remarkable things. Over the past five years, this public-private partnership has brought more than 180 organizations together to advance over 70 major technology and workforce development projects.

Big pharmaceutical companies who normally compete are now working together.

You’ve diversified the pipeline of skilled workers by introducing talented Black, Latinx, and Native American students to careers in biopharma.

And you’re tackling global health challenges through partnerships with the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation and the Global Vaccine Alliance.

It’s because of your unbelievable achievements to date, and our confidence in you, that the Department of Commerce is making transformative investments in NIIMBL.

The first award is $70 million dollars to ensure that America’s biopharma manufacturing remains world-class. It will help build more agile manufacturing facilities that can be quickly scaled to meet changing demands. It will support gene therapies so that patients have access to the best treatments. It will fund new technologies to make vaccine manufacturing more affordable. And along the way, it’ll generate good-paying jobs for hard-working Americans.

As the former Governor of Rhode Island, I know firsthand how important manufacturing is to the growth of communities. And as the daughter of a manufacturing plant worker, I know how much it matters to the financial security of our families.

As part of the American Rescue Plan, the second award grants $83 million dollars to support research that helps America prepare for, respond to, and prevent coronavirus outbreaks. This funding will drive projects that bring together manufacturers, suppliers, and innovators to strengthen domestic supply chains for vaccines and treatments.

The Department of Commerce is excited to partner with you so that America can continue to lead the world in biopharmaceutical manufacturing.

Thank you and congratulations on your awards − we look forward to achieving great things together!

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