University of Massachusetts announces Science and Technology Initiatives Fund Awards, five selected to lead research projects on UMass campuses
Grant program created by President Wilson responsible for $145 million in research funding
BOSTON - President Jack M. Wilson today unveiled the latest research projects to receive grants from the President's Science and Technology Initiatives Fund, which has provided $6.7 million to UMass researchers since 2004, leading to an additional $145 million in funding for vital research efforts.
"We have used this fund to seed the breakthroughs and discoveries of tomorrow," President Wilson said. "Researchers on all five of our campuses are producing ideas and discoveries that will improve our lives and shape our future, and we are eager to support that work."
The President's Science and Technology Initiatives Fund is one of three funds that President Wilson has created to support the work of University of Massachusetts faculty members. The other two are the Commercial Ventures and Intellectual Property Technology Development Fund and the Creative Economy Initiatives Fund.
Speaking to the Board of Trustees Committee on Science, Technology and Research, President Wilson said the projects receiving grants this year from the Science and Technology Initiatives Fund are:
President Wilson established the Science and Technology Initiatives Fund in 2004 and since then has provided more $6.7 million to support 48 projects. These projects have leveraged $145 million in funding from sources outside the university system, which has led to the creation of nearly 20 research centers on the five campuses. Previous awardees have received on average $140,000 for projects that support research initiatives on all five campuses. This year's award amounts will be determined following the passage of the final state budget.
The goals of the initiative are to provide seed-level support to help better position faculty researchers for larger, long-term investments; to advance strategic university research priorities; and to spur partnerships with state industry that leverage the university's expertise while enhancing the competitiveness of companies with which UMass is working.
"The Science and Technology Initiatives Fund has allowed the University of Massachusetts to invest in the vision and creativity of our faculty," said President Wilson. "At the same time, our investment has paid off in our ability to leverage additional funding from outside sources and aided in expanding the scope of our research. Most importantly, however, our researchers and faculty have developed important technologies that create jobs, save lives, and preserve the environment through these grants."
A separate competitive fund also established by President Wilson in 2004, the Commercial Ventures and Intellectual Property Technology Development Fund, provides grants to advance the commercial development of important technologies discovered in laboratories on UMass campuses. Since 2004, the Fund has awarded 49 grants totaling $1.3 million to university researchers from all five campuses for technology commercialization, which has resulted in the creation of four new companies. Revenue from the licensing of UMass technologies exceeded $40 million in Fiscal Year 2010. Over the last 15 years, licensing income for the University of Massachusetts has totaled $450 million.
President Wilson's third innovation fund, the Creative Economy Initiatives Fund, created in 2007 to complement the Science and Technology Fund, reinforces the University's continued commitment to the social and economic development of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts. The Fund has supported the preservation of the W. E. B. Du Bois Boyhood Home in Great Barrington, helped to establish the Lowell Youth Orchestra and a permanent Jack Kerouac education and tourism site in Lowell, and supported the creation of a women artisan's cooperative in New Bedford. During its first four years, the Fund made 39 awards totaling approximately $1 million and anticipates making an additional 10 new awards in early summer.
"President Wilson's vision for increasing the system's research spending and output has provided a tremendous incentive for the campuses to think creatively," said Mike Malone, Vice Chancellor for Research & Engagement at the University of Massachusetts Amherst. "The Science & Technology Initiatives Fund, in particular, has helped our faculty and researchers prepare to access highly-competitive funds at the state, federal, and foundational levels. Because of it, and the general climate of innovation on our campus, UMass has seen terrific growth in our research centers and capabilities."
Previous award winners that either began or were propelled forward because of the Science and Technology Initiatives Fund include;
These three funds have been an integral part of UMass' growing acclaim as a center of research and academic excellence. The university recently announced that it had broken the $500 million mark in terms of research spending. In December, the Association of University Technology Managers released a report that ranked UMass as number eight in a list of universities generating income from the licensing of faculty-derived discoveries and products. Also in recent months, the Times of London ranked the University of Massachusetts 19th in its World Reputation Rankings. These rankings are based on a survey of academics from around the world, who rated schools based on their reputation in teaching and research.
"The faculty at the University of Massachusetts works hard every day to improve the lives of residents of Massachusetts, the United States, and the world," President Wilson said. "I look forward to being a part of those efforts when I begin my tenure as Distinguished University Professor of Higher Education, Emerging Technologies and Innovation at the University of Massachusetts Lowell."
Contact: Robert P. Connolly, 617-287-7073
The PDF files on this page require the free Adobe Acrobat Reader.
Communications Staff Directory
Robert P. Connolly
Featured University of Massachusetts Publications
UMass Medical School