WASHINGTON, DC – U.S. Sen. Sherrod Brown (D-OH) congratulated the Youngstown Business Incubator (YBI) for being named as the number one university-affiliated incubator in the world. Named by UBI Index as this year’s winner, YBI houses 32 companies in a four-building campus in downtown Youngstown in addition to America Makes, formally known as National Additive Manufacturing Innovation Institute (NAMII).

“This award proves what so many of us already know – the Youngstown Business Incubator’s success is unmatched internationally,” Brown said. “YBI provides the tools to help Mahoning Valley businesses compete on a global scale, but this is only the beginning. That’s why it’s so important that we enact policies – like the Revitalize American Manufacturing and Innovation Act – that support the important work YBI and so many other institutions are doing every day throughout Ohio.”

In March 2013, Brown visited NAMII where he toured the facility and called for the creation of a National Network for Manufacturing Innovation (NNMI) so that the United States can out-innovate the rest of the world while creating thousands of high-paying, high-tech manufacturing jobs. That effort took a crucial step forward this week when the U.S. House of Representatives passed Brown’s bill, the bipartisan Revitalize American Manufacturing and Innovation Act (RAMI), which would establish an NNMI and would bring together industry, universities and community colleges, federal agencies, and all levels of government, to accelerate manufacturing innovation in technologies with commercial applications. These public-private institutes would leverage resources to bridge the gap between basic research and product development.

Brown also visited YBI in August 2010 to lead a roundtable discussion aimed at advancing his "Ohio Brain Gain Campaign," ensuring that Ohio attracts and retains talented young people in Ohio, and announced his Business Incubator Promotion Act legislation during a visit in 2009.

Last week, Brown announced $15 million in new federal funding that would support innovation and business growth at YBI and throughout Ohio. Regional Innovation Grants are part of the U.S. Department of Commerce’s (DOC) Economic Development Administration’s (EDA) 2014 Regional Innovation Strategies (RIS) program. These grants will support strategies to support local business, including commercializing new technologies and helping fund startup companies.