West Virginia University researchers will be among those turning the state Capitol into a laboratory as part of Research Day at the Legislature from 9:30 a.m.-2:30 p.m. Monday, Feb. 9. The event, sponsored by the West Virginia Experimental Program to Stimulate Competitive Research (EPSCoR) and the National Science Foundation, is designed to showcase research at the states colleges and universities.
We want to continually remind lawmakers that research is a critical part of an educated workforce,said Dr. Edwin Rood, who heads up WVU s EPSCoR program.Research leads to economic development, start-up companies and new jobs. Its our duty to explain what research is and how it benefits the state.
EPSCoR is a joint program of NSF and several U.S. states and territories. The program promotes the development of the statesscience and technology resources through partnerships involving a states universities, industry and government, and the federal research and development enterprise. Over the past three years, WVU has received about $7 million in EPSCoR funding.
Gov. Bob Wise has called for more investment in research. In his State of the State Address, the governor asked lawmakers to establish a permanent fund for research and development starting with $10 million.
We appreciate the states support for the EPSCoR program,said John Weete, WVU vice president for research and economic development.If approved, this new money will help stimulate the states economy through efforts at the states research institutions.
Rood said part of the WVU EPSCoR display in Charleston will focus on past, current and future benefits of research funding for the University.
WVUs Biometric Knowledge Center and the Center for Identification Technology Research are products of research funding,Rood said. Right now, were focusing on information technology, biotechnology and nanotechnology. We want to eventually conduct nanoscale science and engineering research. We are also partnering with Penn State, Rice, University of Virginia and the University of Wisconsin to develop a Center for Learning and Teaching Nanomanufacturing.
Through research, WVU attracts highly qualified professionals to not only conduct their experiments, but to teach.Our students learn the latest and greatest,Rood said.
Economic development is another product of research, he added.
Our goal is to produce start-up companies that will need to locate close to the University because of the research involved,he said.The end result is more jobs for the state.
Along with representatives from WVU s EPSCoR program, researchers from the National Research Center for Coal and Energy at WVU , the College of Engineering and Mineral Resources and the Virtual Environment Lab are expected to have displays at the Capitol.
Research Day provides us the opportunity to make sure the legislature is aware of the various research initiatives under way and why they are important,Rood said.