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Cardin, Isakson Promote Innovation and Empower Effort to Tackle International Development Challenges

WASHINGTON – U.S. Senator Ben Cardin (D-Md.), Ranking Member of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee and Senator Johnny Isakson (R-Ga.) have introduced the Global Development Lab Act (S.2629) along with Senator Chris Coons (D-Del.), Senator Tim Kaine (D-Va.) and Senator Edward J. Markey (D-Mass.). The Global Development Lab Act authorizes the U.S. Agency for International Development’s Global Development Lab and gives it the tools it needs to solve our world’s most pressing international development challenges. Companion legislation, H.R. 3924, was introduced in the House of Representatives by Congressmen Joaquin Castro (D-Texas) and Michael McCaul (R-Texas) and has been passed out of Committee.

The U.S. Global Development Lab seeks to increase the application of science, technology, innovation and partnerships to achieve, sustain and extend USAID’s development impact. The mission of the Lab is discover, test, and scale breakthrough development innovations to solve development challenges faster and cheaper in support of U.S. foreign policy and development goals. The Lab utilizes a pay-for-success model, which uses science, technology, and innovation-driven competitions to expand the number and diversity of solutions to development challenges.

“USAID’s Global Development Lab proves that the possibilities are endless when government partners with businesses, NGOs, academia, entrepreneurs and innovators to tackle the world’s greatest development challenges,” said Senator Cardin. “In just a few short years we’ve seen incredible innovation come out of the Lab. This Act ensures that the Lab has the tools it needs to truly be the world’s most innovative incubator of global development projects.”

“The Global Development Lab Act would provide the integration of science, technology into our development solutions for eradicating poverty,” said Senator Isakson. “The USAID Global Development Lab has created cost-effective solutions to solving challenges around the world. Through public and private coordination, we are leveraging the resources of business, nongovernmental organizations, science and research to advance greater global health and economic development.”

“The Global Development Lab leverages the ingenuity and skills of cross-disciplinary experts to advance sustainable development and improve the lives of those who are most in need around the world. Tapping into the synergies of public, private, and academic partnerships, including those in Virginia, and launching competitions for the best ideas and solutions will help ensure that our efforts abroad have a positive and long-term impact and high return on investment,” Sen. Kaine said.

“This legislation will ensure that USAID’s Global Development Lab remains at the cutting edge of international development, “said Senator Edward J. Markey. “By enabling developing countries to access and leverage the most advanced sources of energy, information, and health care technology, the Lab works effectively to unleash the vast potential of billions of people around the world. In an interconnected world innovations that eliminate disease and bring social and economic advancement to developing countries can result in greater health and prosperity for all.”