U.S. Sen. Thomas R. Carper was honored with the Champion of Jobs Creation Through Innovation Award presented by the Delaware chapter of We Work for Health during a ceremony hosted by the Delaware BioScience Association (Delaware Bio) and the Delaware Biotechnology Institute (DBI) on Friday, Dec. 9.
Receiving the award, Carper said, “This award is undeserved but not unappreciated.”
We Work for Health is a grassroots initiative focused on improving America’s health care system. Carper, a UD alumnus, was recognized because he “has long supported key legislative issues impacting the biotech industry, most recently including the America Invents Act, demonstrating his commitment to protecting jobs in Delaware,” according to a press release about the event.
Friday’s program emphasized Carper’s “leadership in the Senate on biopharmaceuticals and health care to foster economic growth through innovation,” said the release.
Over 80 representatives from industry, the University of Delaware, the Alzheimer’s Association of Delaware and other special interest groups, Delaware State University and Delaware Technology Park were in attendance.
Bob Dayton, president of Delaware Bio, commented on Carper’s tenacity and persistence in creating the Delaware Technology Park, where the event was held. “What better place to recognize Sen. Carper for supporting innovation than on Innovation Way at DBI.”
“You’re a champion of many things,” commented Mark Barteau, UD senior vice provost for research and strategic initiatives. “UD is grateful for your continued support in many areas like our clean energy initiatives, life science research at DBI and defense research through the Center for Composite Materials. You have been with us every step of the way.”
Continuing the sentiment was Kelvin Lee, director of DBI and Gore Professor of Chemical Engineering. “A lot of credit for the innovative science happening in Delaware goes to Sen. Carper, and is still fueled by his dedication.”
Mike Bowman, chairman and president of Delaware Technology Park, recognized how the actions of the senator have led to jobs — even roads — to spur Delaware innovation. “Todays honor represents only a sampling of the wonderful things Sen. Carper has done. Through his leadership, over 16,000 jobs have been created since 1998, not to mention the 54 companies that are here in Tech Park today that have spun out 30 more all because he helped us build the road in.”
Carper dedicated his accomplishments to the lessons he was taught by his parents as a child, saying, “My parents taught me right from wrong and how to figure out the right thing to do — which is not necessarily the easiest thing to do. They also stressed using common sense, and they let me figure out what that meant on my own.”
He also shared with the audience his favorite part of being a senator: “One of the things I love most about my job is job creation and job preservation, and we’re good at that in Delaware. Growing up as a Navy commanding officer, I learned that I could accomplish anything as long as I never gave up.”