Newswise — Six of the nation’s technology and entrepreneurial associations are joining forces to educate Congress on what they say is the secret to a thriving economy – innovation.

“The United States has the talent, the work force and the resources to innovate ourselves out of economic turmoil,” said Brian Darmody of the Innovation Coalition and Associate Vice President for Research and Economic Development at the University of Maryland. “Startup companies are the backbone for driving economic growth and creating quality jobs.”

The Innovation Coalition, a national network of technology and entrepreneurial associations, will host the second annual Washington, D.C. Fly-In Day on May 23.

Groups representing technology commercialization, early-stage financing, small business support and regional economic development will educate Congress about the importance of innovation in creating jobs and a thriving economy.

“To stay competitive, the U.S. must invest in our universities, research parks, incubators and other innovation drivers,” said Darmody.

The 2012 Fly-In Day will be held at the Reserve Officers Association Minuteman Ballroom in the Minuteman Memorial Building. The event will begin with a breakfast meeting that will feature updates from innovation policy experts:

•Tom Kalil, Deputy Director for Policy, White House Office of Science and Technology Policy •Honorable Mary L. Landrieu, Senator, State of Louisiana•Dr. John C. Haltiwanger, Distinguished University Professor in the Department of Economics, The University of Maryland•Nishith Acharya, Director of the Office of Innovation and Entrepreneurship and Senior Advisor to the Secretary of Commerce

The organizations involved in the 2012 Fly-In Day include: The Angel Capital Association, Association of University Research Parks, National Business Incubation Association, National Association of Seed and Venture Funds, State Science and Technology Institute, and Technology Councils of North America.

For more information on the Washington, D.C. Fly-In Day, visit

About the Innovation Coalition: The Innovation Coalition is a collaborative group of innovation-based associations supporting the key elements of the continuum for commercialization and job creation. For more information, visit or contact Chelsea Simpson at [email protected].