Brown Urges NASA To Place Headquarters of International Space Station National Laboratory in Cleveland

Brown Sends Letter to NASA Administrator Charles Bolden in Support of Proposal Offered by Space Laboratory Associates, Which Has Pledged to Locate Project in Cleveland

Previously, Brown Sent Letter of Support to Space Laboratory Associates in Support of Cleveland as Project’s Home

WASHINGTON, D.C. — U.S. Sen. Sherrod Brown (D-OH), along with several members of the Ohio Congressional delegation, sent a letter this week to NASA Administrator Charles Bolden urging him to select Space Laboratory Associates—a joint non-profit entity of the Universities Space Research Association (USRA) and the Battelle Memorial Institute—to manage the International Space Station (ISS) National Laboratory.

“As home to NASA Glenn Research Center, northeast Ohio already has the workforce and space know-how to support the International Space Station National Laboratory,” Brown said. “I’m hopeful that NASA will decide that SLA is the right choice to lead the research being conducted on the ISS National Laboratory. This project will only serve to bolster Ohio’s reputation as a NASA leader while capitalizing on the Cleveland area’s strong technology innovation engine.”

Previously, Brown had written to Space Laboratory Associates urging them to locate its proposed headquarters in the Cleveland area. In March, SLA announced that should it win the NASA contract to develop the ISS National Laboratory, northeast Ohio will serve as that project’s new home. A copy of that letter can be seen here.

May 10, 2011

Major General Charles F. Bolden, USMC (Ret.)


National Aeronautics and Space Administration

300 E Street, S.W.

Washington, D.C. 20546-0002


Dear General Bolden:


We are writing to express our strong support for the Space Laboratory Associates proposal to manage the International Space Station (ISS) National Laboratory.


Space Laboratory Associates (SLA) is a non-profit entity established by two of this country’s top scientific organizations: the Universities Space Research Association (USRA) and Battelle Memorial Institute.  USRA, a leader in microgravity research, has over forty years of experience in space science and technology research and harnesses the collective brainpower of 105 universities.  Battelle, in business since 1929, is America’s largest private, non-profit R&D corporation and manages or co-manages seven national laboratories within the United States. Battelle  has expertise in a wide range of science and engineering fields, including life sciences, agriculture, energy, and materials,  and excels in the commercialization of advanced technology.  A more perfect combination of management and technical expertise to lead the ISS National Laboratory is difficult to imagine.


SLA proposes to locate their headquarters in Cleveland, Ohio, in the heart of Cleveland’s Health Tech Corridor - a thriving center of entrepreneurial activity in medicine and life sciences that revolves around the Cleveland Clinic - and near NASA Glenn Research Center (GRC).  Ohio has a proven track record as a state that supports innovation, entrepreneurship, start-ups, and technology incubators.  Non-profits such as NorTech, BioEnterprise, MAGNET, and JumpStart ensure a wide availability of venture capital, provide entrepreneurial assistance, and advocate for additional resources for start-up companies. SLA plans to tap into this vibrant entrepreneurial “ecosystem” to accelerate the commercialization of technology that results from R&D on the ISS.


As home to NASA GRC, Ohio has a storied legacy in space exploration research at both the Lewis Field and Plum Brook Station locations.  NASA GRC has been a leader throughout the years in microgravity research on both the Space Shuttle and ISS, and has experienced personnel, facilities, and assets to support future microgravity payload development and on-orbit research and operations. Because of this expertise, there is an existing infrastructure of collaboration and cooperation between scientific research, technology demonstration and Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (STEM) education between federal agencies, academic institutions and the private sector.


In addition, a number of university-institution research partnerships in Ohio specifically focus on life sciences, advanced materials, energy and environment, and agriculture, which we are aware comprise key topics of microgravity research on the ISS.  These research partnerships have developed strong ties with large and small private sector businesses currently conducting research in these same focus areas, and are poised to be able to move quickly on commercialization. This environment will translate research conducted on the ISS National Laboratory into applications that will deliver economic and societal value to the Nation.


Ohio is recognized as a national leader among states implementing STEM initiatives, and offers yet another foundational resource to the ISS National Laboratory program.  More specifically, Cleveland-based organizations have committed to contributing directly to STEM educational initiatives already associated with the ISS National Laboratory, both regionally and nationally.  The Great Lakes Science Center and is the official site of the NASA Glenn Visitor Center. The Center is committed to STEM initiatives and increasing human capital in technical disciplines, and is very active in its position as a board member for American Science and Technology Centers – a professional organization of over 250 science centers. This will allow Ohio to further increase the potential for the advancement of STEM and ISS National Laboratory initiatives in Ohio and across the United States.


With these facts in mind, we hope that you will carefully consider the many advantages of selecting the Space Laboratory Associates proposal to manage the research headquarters of the ISS National Laboratory.


Thank you for your attention to this important matter.



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