Connect Creates Post for Innovation Lobbyist in Washington DC
Connect, the San Diego non-profit that supports local technology and entrepreneurship, says it is opening an office in Washington D.C. “to be part of the process,” and to represent the interests of San Diego’s innovation community.
Establishing a lobbyist in Washington was a key part of an initiative that Connect CEO Duane Roth unveiled last summer that was intended spur San Diego’s innovation economy. Roth’s plan primarily called for increasing federal funding for research and development in San Diego, and for encouraging the formation of more elite research institutions here.
In a statement e-mailed this evening, Roth says Connect’s new advocate will focus in five areas: intellectual property (including trade and anti-trust); funding for basic research; regulatory issues; investment capital; and workforce development (i.e. foreign worker visas).
Connect says Roth has been working with a search committee to recruit a full-time advocate for the office, which will be at the University of California’s 11-story complex in northwest Washington. It was unclear how the position will be funded. In its statement, Connect says only that its board of directors supported “the establishment of a Washington office to provide a consistent presence and close relationships with legislative offices and Administration officials.”