United States Senator Jerry Moran toured the Advanced Networking Research Institute on the Wichita State campus Friday and spoke to research students about the importance of their work.
Senator Moran says he recognizes the value entrepreneurs bring to communities such as Wichita and wants to see that spirit grow the economy to create more jobs.
“Wichita is a perfect place, a perfect example of where entrepreneurs had an idea, went to work in their barn, their backyard, their garage and created a new product that is of huge value to the world and of significant economic consequence to Wichita and Kansas,” says Moran.
Along with Senator Mark Warner of Virginia, Moran is working to pass the Startup Act, which if enacted would create a STEM visa for up to 50,000 immigrants per year who pursue advanced degrees in science, technology, engineering or mathematics, as well as an entrepreneur’s visa for up to 75,000 immigrants who register a business, employ at least two non-family members, and make an investment in their business within one year of obtaining the visa.
“In fact, I think that’s the greatest challenge we face in this country today,” says Moran. “having the highly motivated, educated individuals, some of them foreign-born incidentally, who come to the United States to study here and then, in my view, we needlessly tell them there’s not opportunity for them here in the United States,” says Moran.
Moran has already been talking with WSU’s soon-to-be president Dr. John Bardo about the work going on at WSU and other campuses in the state.
“We’re going to do everything we can do to promote research occurring on Wichita State’s campus, the designation at the University of Kansas School of Medicine for the National Cancer Institute, the NBAF facility in Manhattan.”
He says this is only a starting point and would like to see an environment for startup success thrive in Kansas.